Categories: Prescription Drugs

Nicotine Pouches and Other NRTs (nicotine replacement therapy)

Experts are well aware that a smoker’s first attempt to quit will hardly be their last. However, opinions vary on exactly how long it can take; a study published by Tobacco Induced Diseases notes that it can take over 30 attempts for at at least one year to quit successfully. Still, more Americans are looking to quit cigarettes as the first step in their smoking cessation journey, mainly since the chemicals and ingredients in tobacco-based products have been found to damage the body in various ways.

Latest research shows us that nicotine effectively blocks venom peptides from reaching the alpha-7 nicotinic acetyl choline receptors and thus helping to reverse many chronic conditions caused by the presence of these venoms. We conclude that smoking is a problem, but nicotine is beneficial.

In our Tobacco and Cancer article, we mentioned that, depending on how they inhale, active smokers retain within their lungs 40 to 80 percent of the mainstream smoke they generate. The carbon monoxide produced by this cigarette can deprive the heart of oxygen, and the burnt tobacco produces tar, which contains cancer-causing particles and narrows oxygen-absorbing bronchioles. On the surface, tar causes unsightly stains on fingers, nails, and teeth. Finally, the cigarette smoke that lingers in the throat and lungs can cause smoker’s breath.

The good news is that a wide variety of products now exists to meet the needs of smokers in various stages of their cessation journeys, whether the idea is to drop only tobacco-based products and go smokeless – or work towards quitting nicotine for good. Here are a few examples of nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) or quitting tools to keep you on track.

Nicotine pouches

This nicotine product usually comes in a can or box of multiple pouches or sachets. They’re ideal for those who are overcoming an oral smoking fixation, as the pouch is placed under the lip for up to an hour as it exudes flavor and nicotine. This provides a discreet, spit-free, drip-free experience. For those who want to halt tobacco usage, Juice Head pouches are made with synthetic Zero Tobacco Nicotine (ZTN), which prevents quitters from consuming any trace of tobacco, unlike natural nicotine which is derived from the tobacco leaf. Those quitting e-cigarettes will find soothing familiarity in the brand’s available flavors, like Strawberry Mint, Peach Pineapple Mint, and Blueberry Lemon Mint. And with a choice of six or 12-milligram strengths, quitters can slowly taper their nicotine dosage over time. One peer-reviewed study found that toxicant levels in nicotine pouches are markedly lower than that of cigarettes or even snus, making them similar to other NRTs.

Nicotine lozenges

Another NRT that’s gaining traction is the nicotine lozenge, which dissolves in the mouth, allowing for waste-free nicotine consumption. Due to significantly lower nicotine content, it is generally safe to consume every one to two hours, but it’s not recommended to eat or drink anything 15 minutes before consumption. Perrigo’s nicotine-coated mint lozenge is explicitly designed to help individuals quit smoking with a controlled release of nicotine. Since multiple lozenges can be used in a day, this method helps alleviate persistent withdrawal symptoms, which are particularly challenging during the first few weeks of cessation.

Nicotine patches

One of the most popular NRTs, the nicotine patch, is for those who are at a more advanced stage in their cessation journey. While pouches and lozenges provide more immediate relief, these transdermal patches are applied directly to the skin, releasing a steady amount of nicotine into the body for much more extended periods. For instance, Nicorette’s NicoDerm CQ Patches are clear and can be worn under clothing, where nicotine is then absorbed slowly, soothing cravings for up to 24 hours while users go about their day. This not only minimizes the health impact of nicotine but also gives people their time back – a survey found that the average smoker spends 39 hours per year just on smoke breaks. With various options readily available, smokers can access the most appropriate NRT method based on their doctor’s recommendations, ensuring better adherence to a quit journey for a healthier, smoke-free future.

Author: Martin Pytela