How do I determine which medicines could help me quit smoking or stop using smokeless tobacco?
Tobacco Quitter recommends you see a professional who is trained in quitting smoking and dipping techniques. Try to find Tobacco Treatment Specialist or a Tobacco Cessation Counselor in your area. If you can’t find one, ask your doctor, nurse, or dentist about quitting. Although many doctors, nurses, and dentists really need to learn more about quit smoking and stop dipping treatments and techniques, you may have one that is knowledgeable. And if you think you may need a prescription medication, you will have to get a prescription from him/her anyway. You can also try contacting a state or national quitting hotlines.
Barring that, you can check the manufacturers websites. Also, explore the products listed on the Tobacco Quitter Price Checker to see what might work best for you.
How do I determine how many and what strength nicotine replacement - patches, gum, lozenge, or mini lozenge - I should use?
In the US and most countries, the products listed above do not require a prescription, meaning you can buy them from a store or order them from any legitimate website. Like all “over-the-counter” medications, Tobacco Quitter suggests you consult the package insert/directions, or visit the official website of the product, for dosing information (note that Tobacco Quitter and many Tobacco Treatment Specialists would like the FDA to modify the nicotine replacement products package inserts to reflect new treatment practices). Your best option is to consult a Tobacco Treatment Specialist or speak with your health care provider (if your health care provider is trained in quitting techniques), who can give you guidelines that are specific to you.
Tobacco Quitter uses the following as a general rule of thumb: if a person is experiencing significant cravings or withdrawal symptoms, the nicotine replacement dosage may be too low (or it is not being use correctly). If the person is experiencing significant nausea, vomiting, or dizziness (or some other minor side effects), the nicotine replacement dosage may be too high (or is not being used properly). Again, you should always refer to the package insert (and/or your health care provider) about dose questions.
All dosages on the Tobacco Quitter Price Checker are examples and not necessarily the dosage we recommend for you or your patients (if you’re treating somebody).
How long should I use quitting medications (both prescription and over-the-counter) and when should I reduce my dose or stop using it?
This is actually a complex question and has many factors that affect the answer. You should always follow the manufacturers guidelines (package directions) or the guidelines of your health care provider who prescribed you the medication. Stopping a medication or reducing your dosage because of side effects is completely different than stopping medications as part of your treatment plan. Different medications have different requirements, restrictions, benefits, risks, etc.
Tobacco Quitter suggest seeing Tobacco Treatment Specialist or Tobacco Cessation Counselor, or a professional who treats smokers and dippers. Likewise, your doctor may be able to advise you on this.
If you are using non-prescription quitting aids like the: patch, gum, lozenge, or mini lozenge, we suggest you follow the treatment guidelines provided by the manufacturers and use those as a starting point.
In our experience, many (probably most) smokers and dippers do not use the proper dose, do not use quitting products correctly, and/or stop using quitting medications too early and many relapse because of it. If you are going to start a treatment plan, barring side effects, we strongly suggest you commit to using the product for the length of time suggested by the manufacturer. Their guidelines are based on clinical trials, independent medical studies, and best practices. You will get the maximum chance of quitting and staying quit if you do. In many situations you can even go longer, safely, than the treatment time listed on the package insert. Again, you should see a health care professional, skilled in quitting smoking and stopping dipping to guide you.