Smoking Cessation Products

Did you know?

Depending on the number of cigarettes smoked in a day, here’s how much money you could save if you were to quit*:

  •  1 pack/week  X 52 weeks = $520-624 per year
  • 2 packs/week X 52 weeks = $1040-1248 per year
  • ½ pack/day X 365 days = $1825-2190 per year
  • 1 pack/day X 365 days = $3650 -4380 per year
  • 2 packs/day X 365 days = $7300-8760 per year

To access Health Canada’s “Cost Calculator: How much do you spend on cigarettes?” click here.

If you want to quit, below is a quick review of the most common products used for smoking cessation. There are many options available and we encourage you to speak to your pharmacist to find out the product and dose that’s best for you.

Nicotine Gum:

This product can be used throughout the day, whenever you have the urge to smoke. Its frequency of use should be gradually decreased over time (ideally over three months) until the individual is ready to stop completely. Users should be advised that it is not chewed continuously like “regular gum”, but rather it is chewed then “parked” against the inside cheek to allow for absorption.  Users must avoid acidic beverages (eg. coffee, cola, juice) while chewing, and be advised to watch for the common side effects, often due to the excess nicotine release with overly vigorous chewing (eg. nausea, headache, abdominal pain, mouth irritation, etc.).

Nicotine Lozenge:

The lozenge acts in the same way as the gum, helping to reduce the urge to smoke. Instead of being chewed though, it should be placed in the mouth and allowed to dissolve slowly, usually over 20-30 minutes, without sucking or swallowing it.  Like the gum, it is will be more effective if acidic beverages are avoided; in fact, it is best to avoid eating or drinking anything when a lozenge is in the mouth.

Nicotine Inhaler:

Not to be confused with the e-cigarettes, this device consists of a plastic mouthpiece to be loaded with nicotine containing cartridges. The biggest advantage of this product is the hand-to-mouth motion that mimics smoking.

Nicotine Mouth Spray:

The mouth spray is the newest nicotine replacement device on the market and provides fast relief from cravings. It is sprayed into the mouth (aim for somewhere in the mouth, and not the throat) when needed and users are advised to avoid inhalation, only swallowing after a few seconds following the spray.

Nicotine Patch:

As one of the easiest products to use, the patch is placed onto a clean, non-hairy portion of skin, once a day. It provides a constant nicotine dose but may not accommodate for the regular cravings one may experience throughout the day. Insomnia and vivid dreams are a common complaint, which can be avoided by removing the patch just prior to sleep. For these individuals, the gum or the lozenge is recommended upon waking to provide nicotine support until the next day’s patch takes effect.

Non-nicotine Prescription Medications: (e.g. ChampixÒ, ZybanÒ)

A pill taken twice a day (such as Varenicline or Bupropion) may curb smoking in two ways. First, it acts in the brain in ways similar to nicotine, thereby reducing the symptoms of withdrawal. Second it competes with the same action sites in the brain as nicotine, and thereby reduces the pleasure received from smoking. The simplicity and effectiveness make this a popular option; however like anything you place into your body, there are possible side effects that need to be considered. Speak to your doctor or pharmacists for further information.

*Based on the estimate that a pack of cigarettes will cost anywhere from $10-12 (25 cigarettes)

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