May 31 is observed as World No Tobacco Day, and if you are looking to kick the ‘butt’, there is no better day than to start. A lot of smokers opt for Nicotine patches to help deal with the withdrawal symptoms that follow giving up cigarettes. This article tells you all that you need to know about these patches. 

Nicotine patches are the one of many nicotine withdrawal therapies that are currently available to quit smoking. According to the disease control and prevention centres, 70% of the smokers who quit smoking, experience the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal (headaches and anxiety) as well as stress. To overcome the cravings for nicotine and ease the withdrawal symptoms, Nicotine patches came into existence. 

How do they work:

They work by releasing low doses of nicotine directly into the skin and thereby reducing the withdrawal symptoms. Although these contain small quantities of Nicotine, they are much healthier and safer than cigarettes because they do not contain the harmful chemicals (e.g. tar, carbon monoxide) that are present in tobacco. These patches come in different doses such as 21 mg, 14 mg and 7 mg. 

Treatment:

The recommended treatment for smoking cessation is by using the patches for 8 weeks and by starting from using higher dosage (week 1-4) to lower dosage (week 5-8) and eventually stopping them. Various studies have shown that using patches in combination with other nicotine replacement therapies such as gums, sprays etc. double the chances of smoking cessation. The most common side effect of using the Nicotine patches is skin irritation. They are available at costs low as ₹60 and may range to over ₹500.