Nicotine patches and lozenges are two forms of nicotine replacement therapy, which is designed to wean smokers off the high nicotine levels found in cigarettes. The choice between patches and lozenges depends on your needs.
Nicotine patches come in prescription and nonprescription forms. They provide specific doses of nicotine through the skin. Nicotine lozenges are an over-the-counter product. A lozenge delivers a specific dose of nicotine as its dissolves in the mouth.
You can get patches that last for 16 and 24 hours. They can provide doses of nicotine as strong as 15 to 22 mg. Smokers decrease their nicotine reliance by switching to lower-strength patches at intervals of roughly four weeks.
Individual lozenges come in strengths that supply 2 mg or 4 mg of nicotine. Smokers typically start by taking a lozenge every one to two hours, then increase the time between dosages as they wean themselves from nicotine.
The American Cancer Society says there is no evidence that one form of nicotine replacement is more effective than another. Smokers looking to quit may choose patches or lozenges according to their smoking habits and general lifestyle.
Additional forms of nicotine replacement therapy include gum, inhalers and nasal spray.
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