The good news: When used correctly, quit medications can more than double your chances of success!
In this day and age, there are a lot of options when it comes to medications to help you quit. Some, such as the patch, gum, lozenge, inhaler and nasal spray, contain nicotine, while others like bupropion SR (Zyban/Wellbutrin) and varenicline (Chantix) don’t. Take a few minutes to learn about the different types of medication and decide if one is right for you. Click on the links below to learn what the medication is, its benefits, how to use it and possible medication restrictions.
PLEASE NOTE, this information is not intended to replace the manufacturer’s instructions provided with these medications or the advice of your health care provider or pharmacist. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and the advice of your health care provider or pharmacist regarding proper use of these medications and consult with your health care provider if you have questions about using them. Always read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before you start. And call your doctor if you have questions or experience any side effects.
Nicotine gum is a type of sugarless chewing gum that has nicotine in it. Each piece of gum gives you a small amount of nicotine, which helps you stop wanting to smoke. The gum is safe, and research shows using it doubles your chance of quitting. Adults can get it at most drug stores, and it does not require a doctor’s prescription.
PLEASE NOTE: Nicotine gum through QUITPLAN Services is available only to Minnesota adults (18 or older).
The nicotine patch is a quit medication that adults can get from the local drug or grocery store. The patch sticks to your skin like a Band-Aid that gives you a steady dosage of nicotine through your skin all day long. The patch is safe, and it does not have any of the toxins that are in tobacco smoke. Research shows it doubles your chances of quitting. It does not require a doctor’s prescription for adults.
PLEASE NOTE: Nicotine patches through QUITPLAN Services are available only to Minnesota adults (18 or older).
The nicotine lozenge is like a throat lozenge. Each lozenge gives you a small amount of nicotine, which helps you stop wanting to smoke. The lozenge is safe, and research shows using it doubles your chance of quitting. Adults can get it at most drug stores, and it does not require a doctor’s prescription.
PLEASE NOTE: Nicotine lozenges through QUITPLAN Services are available only to Minnesota adults (18 or older).
Bupropion SR (Wellbutrin/Zyban) is a prescription drug that helps people quit smoking or chewing tobacco. Bupropion SR does not contain nicotine and is not addictive. It is unclear exactly how bupropion SR works to help a person quit using tobacco, but it probably causes the brain to release additional dopamine, which helps reduce the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal.
Nicotine nasal spray is a quit medication for which you need to get a prescription from your doctor. The nicotine nasal spray works like a nasal decongestant spray. The spray is safe, and it does not have any of the toxins that are in tobacco smoke.
The nicotine inhaler is a safe and effective quit medication that helps stop the urges of nicotine withdrawal. It requires a prescription from your health care provider. Nicotine inhalers allow you to ‘puff’ on a mouthpiece, and then absorb nicotine through the tissues in your mouth. The inhaler contains none of the toxins that are in tobacco smoke.
Varenicline is sold under the brand name of Chantix. It is a prescription drug that helps people quit smoking or chewing tobacco. Varenicline does not contain nicotine and it is not addictive.
Used together, a combination of the nicotine patch and nicotine gum or the nicotine patch and nicotine lozenge can provide much better relief from nicotine cravings than when they are used alone. The patch delivers a steady stream of nicotine for 24 hours, so you get long-acting, consistent relief from withdrawal symptoms, such as headaches and irritability. Meanwhile, the gum or lozenge delivers a small amount of nicotine within 15 minutes, helping you to manage tough situations and keeping your mouth busy as you ride out the cravings.