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Combining the nicotine patch and nicotine gum or nicotine lozenge

No question: Compared to going cold turkey, using nicotine replacement therapy — such as the nicotine patch, gum or lozenge — can dramatically increase your chances of successfully quitting smoking. But you can boost your odds even more by combining the patch with either the gum or the lozenge. Here’s why:

  • 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.
  • Used together, the patch and the gum or lozenge can provide much better relief from nicotine cravings than they can used alone.

Don’t worry: Combining medications is unlikely to give you too much nicotine. For one thing, nicotine itself is the least harmful ingredient in tobacco. It’s the other 7,000 chemicals that combine to damage just about every organ in your body. The patch, gum and lozenge — even in combination — typically deliver less nicotine than cigarettes do for most smokers, and as the weeks pass, you will gradually wean yourself off nicotine completely. Nicotine replacement products give you just enough nicotine to minimize cravings as you master the strategies to overcome your addiction.

Nicotine patches, gum and lozenges are sold over the counter and available at most drug stores for adults 18 and older. Learn more about how adults can get free patches, gum or lozenges from QUITPLAN® Services.

PLEASE NOTE: QUITPLAN Services does not provide combination therapy.

How to use combinations

For more information about how to use combinations, see page 29 of the Quit Guide.

PLEASE NOTE, this information is not intended to replace the manufacturer’s instructions provided with the nicotine patch, gum or lozenges. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding proper use of these products and consult with your health care provider if you have questions about using them.

Before using the nicotine patch, gum or lozenge, let your health care provider know if you:

  • Have had a heart attack in the last two weeks.
  • Have had a stroke or TIA (mini-stroke) in the last two weeks.
  • Have a severe heart rhythm problem or a very fast heartbeat.
  • Have worsening angina or heart/chest pain.
  • Are pregnant or are actively trying to get pregnant.
  • Are allergic to or have had serious skin irritation from using adhesives (like Band-Aids) on your skin.
  • Have dental problems or jaw pain that make it hard to chew gum.

Side Effects

See page 34 of the Quit Guide for common minor side effects. If you experience any side effects that worry you when using the nicotine patch, gum or lozenge please contact your health care provider.

If you experience swelling of the throat or mouth with difficulty breathing, remove the patch, stop using the gum or lozenge and seek immediate medical assistance. This may be a very rare, but very serious allergic reaction to something in the medication.

Read more about nicotine patches.

Read more about nicotine gum.

Read more about nicotine lozenges.

Please note: This page includes detailed, current information about these medications. Some of the information on this page may not be included in the Quit Guide. The Quit Guide may include additional instructions regarding the use of these medications. You should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using these medications and consult your health care provider if you have any questions.