Six Quick Tips for Using Quit Smoking Medicines

Quit Smoking pin in calendar
  1. Using some medicines together can help a lot.
    • The nicotine patch can be combined with short-acting medicines like the nicotine gum, lozenge, inhaler, or spray to better relieve withdrawal symptoms and combat cravings.
  2. Use the right amount of medicine.
    • Some medicines come in different doses. Picking the right dose is important to make sure your body gets the right amount of nicotine to help relieve withdrawal symptoms. Use the nicotine replacement medicine dosing tool to help you pick the right starting dose and talk with your healthcare provider for more help with dosing.
  3. Use the medicines for a long enough time.
    • Many people don’t use quit-smoking medicines for long enough. Most medicines are most effective when used for 6 to 12 weeks or longer, depending on the medicine and your quit plan. Using the medicines for long enough can improve your chances of quitting for good.
  4. Get some coaching to help you quit.
    • Looking for ways to deal with urges and cravings? Wondering how to manage situations that make you feel like smoking again? Having problems using a medication and not sure what to do? Connect with your state tobacco quitline (1-800-QUIT-NOW) for free coaching and support or talk with your healthcare provider. Combining medication with coaching support will give you the best chance to quit for good.
  5. Start some quit-smoking medicines before you quit.
    • It’s OK to start nicotine patches, gum, or lozenges a week or two before you quit smoking. This can help you get ready and may help you cut down on your smoking before you start your quit attempt. But be sure to quit in a week or two.
    • Quit-smoking pills (varenicline and bupropion) should usually be started a week or more before quitting. Your prescribing healthcare provider will discuss the best time to start when you get your prescription.
  6. Make sure you use your medicine correctly.
    • Did you know the nicotine gum isn’t used like regular chewing gum, the nicotine lozenge isn’t used like a hard candy, and the nicotine oral inhaler isn’t used like an asthma inhaler? For the best chance of quitting, learn how to use your medicine correctly. Read the medication label and explore below for tips.
What if feelings of depression develop or get worse while quitting?
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Quitting smoking may make some people depressed or anxious, whether quitting with medication or not. If you have feelings of depression or anxiety lasting for more than two weeks or that get worse, you should get help. Talk to your doctor and seek appropriate emergency help.

  • Sometimes people who are feeling depressed think about hurting themselves or dying.If you or someone you know is having these feelings, get help now.
  • Callthe National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. TTY: 1-800-799-4889. Online chat is available 24/7.
  • Call 911 or go to the nearest hospital emergency department for emergency medical treatment.
  • Don’t be alone.Don’t leave another person alone if they are in crisis.