There is no denying that smoking is a serious health hazard, an expensive habit and also a habit that is an extremely addictive and difficult to kick, but also one that can be kicked as many smokers have proven.

Some smokers are able to give up smoking cold turkey without any outside help while others need all the help they can get.

For these smokers it maybe the nicotine patch, gum, inhaler or nasal spray that they choose to use to assist them in their challenge to stop smoking. All of these nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products work in a similar way and provide a dose of nicotine to a smoker via an alternative means to cigarettes.

The nicotine patch when applied to a clean, dry area of skin realises a dose of nicotine into the bloodstream steadily over a 24 hour period before being removed and replaced with a new patch. These patches come in various strengths with a smoker usually beginning this form of treatment on a patch with a high dose of nicotine before moving onto a patch with a lower level of nicotine after a few weeks.

The nicotine gum is chewed on like regular gum and then placed between the cheek and the gum where the nicotine is absorbed. Like the patch the gum comes in varying strengths.

The nicotine inhaler is shaped like a cigarette and held and inhaled on like a regular cigarette. This plastic device contains a nicotine cartridge with the number of cartridges used each day being reduced over a set period of time.

Finally the nicotine nasal spray is another NRT product that is used a number of times per day with the number of sprays being administered each day decreasing over a number of weeks.

All of these NRT products can however cause side effects which include nausea, headaches and indigestion and when using any NRT product it is important not to smoke. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should consult with their doctor before using any nicotine replacement therapy product.

Finally as it says in the instruction these products are only effective when used with an overall system of support.

Within communities all over the country there are support groups that can be joined or one-on-one counselling with a psychiatrist could be used. Any health care professional should be able to guide you towards these sources of help.

Other aids available to help a smoker stop smoking include hypnosis, acupuncture and aromatherapy. Overall, whether you attempt to stop smoking alone, with the help of a book, hypnosis, acupuncture, aromatherapy or nicotine replacement therapy the important thing is that you are making a quit smoking attempt.

Author's Bio: 

Learn about tobacco history and the anti-smoking movement, about the teenage smoking epidemic and the ways to stop smoking cigarettes at