Fast Five Quiz: Test Your Knowledge About Nicotine Addiction and Cessation

Stephen Soreff, MD


December 08, 2017

All of the commercially available forms of NRT increase the chances of successful smoking cessation. Overall, NRT increases the quit rate by 50%-70%, and the increase appears to be independent of any additional support provided.

Nicotine patches deliver nicotine through the skin at a relatively steady rate. In general, they yield higher compliance rates than other NRT products do, but they may not adequately protect against cravings provoked by smoking-related stimuli.

Marketed as a prescription medication, the nasal spray delivers nicotine more rapidly than other NRTs and affords relief of acute cravings. The multidose bottle with a pump delivers 0.5 mg of nicotine per 50-µL squirt. Each dose consists of two squirts, one to each nostril. The dosage of nasal spray should be individualized for each patient according to the patient's level of nicotine dependence. Most patients are started with one or two doses per hour, which may be increased up to the maximum of 40 doses per day.

The nicotine lozenge has been available in 2-mg and 4-mg formulations since 2002. Nicotine from the lozenge is absorbed slowly through the buccal mucosa. The lozenge should not be chewed, and the amount of nicotine absorbed per lozenge is somewhat higher than that absorbed from nicotine gum.

For more on NRTs, read here.


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.