IMPORTANT. Carefully read the package insert for specific and important information about whether and how to use the nicotine patch, and any possible side effects you might experience. If you are not sure the product is right for you, or if experience any negative side effects or a change in your health/medical condition (e.g., become pregnant, start using new medications, etc.), please stop using the patch and see your doctor.

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Patches & Gum

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Nicotine Patch

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Nicotine Gum

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Patches & Gum

 

Is nicotine safe?

Nicotine itself does not cause cancer. There are 4000+ chemicals in tobacco smoke and many of them have been proven to cause cancer. 1 Pure nicotine used in quit smoking medications has not shown to cause cancer or any other illness.

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Am I just replacing one addiction for another?

No. The nicotine patch and gum help you to stop smoking cigarettes. The patch and gum deliver nicotine to your body more slowly and in a different way than cigarettes do. It is unlikely that you will become addicted to the patch or gum. The patch and gum are both safer than smoking cigarettes, which have all those cancer-causing chemicals.

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How long should I use the patch or gum?

To quit smoking, you should use the patch or gum for the full 8 weeks. Stopping sooner reduces your chance of success. 2-4 (In fact, some people need to go longer than 8 weeks; and that’s perfectly okay).

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I ordered nicotine patches/gum online. When will I receive my order?

Once the order is approved, an email will be sent to the e-mail address you provided to confirm your ground mail address and to let you know that your order has shipped. A tracking number will be provided. If your address is incorrect, please reply with corrections.

Your shipment will arrive by Canada Post and you should receive your shipment within 7-10 business days. You do not need to sign for this package, however, it is up to the discretion of the mail carrier to determine whether or not the package should be left or taken to the local post office for pick-up. (A Canada Post mail carrier will only leave the package if they feel it is in a safe, relatively secure area).

If you have not received your shipment within 7-10 business days, please track your package using the information provided. If your package has not been delivered, please contact Leave The Pack Behind at LTPBoffice@brocku.ca or 905 688 5550 ext. 4992.

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How can I get more nicotine patches or gum if I need them?

You may be able to obtain more free nicotine patches or gum by:

You can also purchase the patch or gum at grocery stores, big box stores, and pharmacies.

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I've tried the patch and/or gum before. How will this time be different?

This time, you can add some extras. While using the patch or gum:

Most importantly, keep using your patch or gum for the entire 8 weeks according to the directions.

Smokers' Helpline also has lots of ways to help you quit. Click or call:

Smokers Helpline. 1-877-513-5333

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What should I do if I experience negative side effects from the nicotine patch/gum?

Be sure to read the package insert for specific and important information about whether and how to use the nicotine product, and any possible side effects you might experience. If you experience any negative side effects, please stop using the patch/gum and talk to a doctor or pharmacist. Contact the researchers about serious negative side effects: Dr. Kelli-an Lawrance, PhD [905-688-5550 x. 4288, klawrance@brocku.ca], or Dr. Peter Selby, MD [416-535-8501 x.6859, peter_selby@camh.ca]. You can also contact the Research Ethics Board at Brock University [905-688-5550 x. 3035] or at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health [416-535-8501 ext. 6876].

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Nicotine Patch

 

Will I get addicted to the nicotine patch?

The patch is less addictive compared to cigarettes. 5 When you smoke a cigarette, the nicotine goes to your brain quickly making you want more. The patch gives you a low, safe, and steady amount of nicotine that helps to ease the changes your body goes through when quitting. For this reason, there is little chance that you will get addicted to the patch.

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How does the nicotine patch work?

When you wear a patch, small safe amounts of nicotine are released into your blood through your skin. This helps take the edge off of nicotine withdrawal symptoms. For success with the patch, you need to wear a new one every day for 8 weeks. Stopping sooner reduces your chance of success. 2,3 The patch should be worn on a clean, hair-free area such as the upper arm or body. Read the Habitrol package insert for more information on the proper use of the nicotine patch.

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Which patch size should I use?

If you smoke 10 or more cigarettes per day:

If you smoke 1-9 cigarettes per day:

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What are the side effects?

The most common side effect of the patch is skin irritation. A slight amount of redness or itchiness is normal and should get better after a few days. You can use cream or lotion to soothe the irritation. Put the patch on a different spot each day. Read the product insert to learn about other side effects.

If you have any serious negative side effects or your health condition changes (e.g., you become pregnant or start a new medication), please stop using the patch and talk to your doctor.

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How many patches should I wear in one day?

One patch a day gives you enough nicotine to help you quit. For safe use, keep 1 patch on for 24 hours and then put a brand new one on. If the patch falls off, put another one on as soon as possible (replacing it when you normally would change it).

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Can I exercise while wearing the patch?

Exercise is a great way to help you quit smoking. It can reduce your urge to smoke and help you stay quit longer. 6,7 When you exercise vigorously, though, your skin may absorb extra nicotine from the patch. So the Habitrol patch should be removed 2 hours before engaging in prolonged, vigorous exercise; otherwise, it is safe to exercise while wearing the patch.

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I don't sleep well with the patch on. What should I do?

Wear the patch for 24 hours to help prevent the urge to smoke when you wake up. If you have problems with sleeping, such as trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or intense dreams or nightmares, take the patch off before bed and put it on again first thing in the next morning.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Nicotine Gum

 

Will I get addicted to nicotine gum?

Nicotine gum is less addictive compared to cigarettes. 5 The gum gives you a low, safe, and steady amount of nicotine that helps fight the urge to smoke a cigarette when quitting. As time goes on, you use fewer pieces of gum until you are ready to stop using it.

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How does the gum work?

The gum provides a safe dose of nicotine that is absorbed through your gums and cheeks. When you feel the urge or desire to smoke, have one piece of nicotine gum instead. Repeat this each time you have an urge to smoke a cigarette.

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How many pieces per day should I use?

The number of pieces of gum you use per day will depend on the number of cigarettes you typically used to smoke per day. The table below shows a guide for how many pieces of gum you should be using every day to quit smoking.

Number of cigarettes smoked per day Weeks 1-2
Pieces per day
Weeks 3-4
Pieces per day
Weeks 5-8
Pieces per day
10 or less 10 8 4
11-14 12 9 5
15-19 16 12 6
20 or more 20 15 10

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What are the side effects?

The most common side effect of the gum is upset stomach. This can happen when the gum is chewed too quickly or incorrectly. Avoid drinking alcohol and other acidic beverages (e.g., coffee, tea, soft drinks, and citrus juices) when chewing Thrive gum. They can prevent the gum from working properly. Read the product insert to learn about others side effects.

If you have any serious negative side effects or your health condition changes (e.g., you become pregnant or start a new medication), please stop using the gum and talk to your doctor.

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Can I drink alcohol while using nicotine gum?

Nicotine gum should not be used when drinking alcohol or acidic drinks. The nicotine will not absorb properly. For this reason, avoid using nicotine gum 15 minutes before or after drinking alcohol, coffee, tea, juice or pop. If drinking alcohol causes you to smoke, you may want to avoid alcohol while you quit.

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Why does my stomach hurt when I chew nicotine gum?

Chewing nicotine gum the same way regular gum is chewed can cause stomach upset as you get more nicotine than you need. Chew one piece of gum a few times and then put it between your cheek and gum. When the taste is gone, chew the gum again a few more times and then move it back between your cheek and gum. One piece of gum should last about 30 minutes. If you continue to have an upset stomach, talk to your doctor.

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References

  1. Health Canada. (2007, November 22). A Toxic Habit. Retrieved June 15, 2011 from http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hc-ps/tobac-tabac/body-corps/habit-eng.php
  2. Zhang, B. (2012, June, 27). Nicotine Patches Help Ontario Smokers Quit, unpublished lecture notes, Ontario Tobacco Research Unit & Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario.
  3. Balmford, J., Borland, R., Hammond, D., & Cummings, K. M. (2011). Adherence to and reasons for premature discontinuation from stop-smoking medications: Data from the ITC four country survey. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 13 (2), 94-102.
  4. Shiffman, S., Ferguson, S.G., & Strahs, K.R. (2009). Quitting by gradual smoking reduction using nicotine gum. A randomized trial. American Journal of Preventative Medicine, 36 (2), 98-104.
  5. Ontario Medical Association. Rethinking stop-smoking medications: Treatment myths and medical realities. [Update 2008]. Ontario Medical Review 2008 Jan; 75 (1): 22-34. ISBN 0-919047-60-2.
  6. Ussher, M. H., Taylor, A., & Faulkner, G. (2008). Exercise interventions for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2008, Issue 4. Art. No.: CS00295. DOI: 10.1002/14651858. CD002295. Pub3.
  7. Taylor, A.H., Ussher, M.H., & Faulkner, G. (2007). The acute effects of exercise on cigarette cravings, withdrawal symptoms, affect and smoking behavior: A systematic review. Addiction, 102, 534-543.

Leave The Pack Behind | Brock University | 1812 Sir Isaac Brock Way | St. Catharines, Ontario L2S 3A1 | P. 905 688 5550 x4992 | F. 905 984 4847

 

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