Nicotine Oral Inhaler

Nicotine Oral Inhaler icon

The nicotine oral inhaler is a small plastic tube shaped like a fat cigarette. You puff frequently on it with shallow puffs throughout the day. Unlike an asthma inhaler, the medicine is not inhaled into the lungs. The nicotine is absorbed mostly in the back of your throat.

Pros:

  • Can be used regularly and when you feel withdrawal symptoms or urges coming on.
  • Acts faster than nicotine patch or quit-smoking pills.
  • Can be used with the patch to deal with breakthrough urges.
  • You control how often you use it, so you won’t get more nicotine than you want.
  • May help substitute for a cigarette because you put it in your mouth.

Cons:

  • You have to remember to use it regularly and often.
  • Doesn’t work as well in cold weather.
  • You should not eat or drink for 15 minutes before using or during use.
  • May be visible to people around you when using.
  • Requires a prescription.

Possible Side Effects (and what you can do about them):

  • Mouth and throat irritation (very common, but may lessen with continued use).
  • Runny nose, cough (often people get used to these. Talk to your doctor if they continue to bother you).
  • Headache (Consider waiting longer between doses and talk to your doctor).
  • Hiccups or stomach discomfort (try lower dose or wait longer between doses).

Oral Inhaler Precautions (If any of these apply to you, talk to your doctor or other healthcare provider before starting to use inhaler.):

  • A heart attack in the last two weeks.
  • A serious heart rhythm problem.
  • Pain in your heart (angina) that is serious or getting worse.
  • Asthma and chronic lung disease.
  • Could be pregnant or are breastfeeding.
  • Less than 18 years old.

More precautions and general information are available about oral inhalerexternal icon.

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.