How to Combine Quit Smoking Medicines
- You can use some quit-smoking medicines together for a better chance to quit smoking. Quit-smoking medicines work in different ways to help ease withdrawal symptoms and lessen cravings. For example, you can use a long-acting nicotine replacement medicine together with a short-acting one:
- Long Acting: The nicotine patch is referred to as “long acting” because it provides a slower, steady level of nicotine over a long period of time. It can be helpful by providing a steady state of nicotine throughout the day to help ease withdrawal symptoms.
- Short Acting: The nicotine gum, lozenge, nasal spray, and oral inhaler are referred to as “short acting” because they give you nicotine more quickly. Short acting medicines can be used to help you get through cravings, or even in anticipation of a craving.
- Start the patch in the morning, as directed.
- Use a short-acting form of quit-smoking medicine (like gum or lozenge) as needed and as directed for breakthrough cravings.
Combine quit-smoking medicines as follows:
|Long acting:||Short Acting:|
|Nicotine Patch||+||Nicotine lozenge
|Nicotine nasal spray
|Nicotine oral inhaler|
Talk with your doctor or other healthcare provider about other combinations of quit-smoking medicines that may improve your chances of quitting for good.
The quit-smoking medicines talked about on this website are approved by the FDA for adults to use to quit cigarettes. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or younger than 18, you should not use these medicines without talking to your doctor. If you use tobacco products other than cigarettes (like cigars, chew, snuff, hookah, or e-cigarettes), talk to your doctor or other healthcare provider or call the quitline (1-800-QUIT-NOW) to get help with quitting. All the ways to use medicines presented here are reviewed in Smoking Cessation: A Report of the Surgeon General (Chapter 6)pdf icon. Some of the ways have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA.