They help you get through the toughest times

Quit-smoking medicines can more than double your chance of success.

Three approaches are especially effective and give you the best chance at quitting:

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  • Using two NRT medicines together—the nicotine patch and a faster-acting one like the lozenge or gum.
  • Using varenicline as a single medicine—provides the highest success rate of any single medicine, reducing urges and your enjoyment of smoking.
  • Using coaching in addition to your quit-smoking medicine.

The first couple of days of quitting are usually the most difficult. And the first few weeks are often tough. But don’t give up! Quit-smoking medicines can help get you through these hard times and the times ahead. And they’ve been proven to reduce the chance that you’ll go back to smoking while you use them.

Thousands of people have taken part in studies that show these medicines work—see Smoking Cessation: A Report of the Surgeon General (Chapter 6)pdf icon [PDF – 1.8 MB].

Quit-smoking medicines work best if you do these simple things:
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  • Take them for a long enough time—usually 6 to 12 weeks or longer, depending on the medicine.
  • If using NRT, use enough to relieve your withdrawal symptoms and cravings. This can mean using two NRTs at once.
  • Follow instructions on how to use them correctly.
  • Get some coaching on tips and tools to quit smoking successfully.
    • Quit-smoking medicines are not “magic bullets” that guarantee you will quit. The good news is that there are lots of tips that help the medicines work even better and keep you quit!
    • Free coaching is also available, including by calling a quitline, such as 1-800-QUIT-NOW.
    • Your doctor or other healthcare professional can provide support and ideas for how to quit. They can also help you choose a medicine and give you advice on how to use it so that it really helps.