Category:Smoking Cessation Agents

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Smoking cessation agents may help some users quit smoking cigarettes. There are two main types of smoking cessation agents: nicotine replacement therapy products, also called NRT products, and non-nicotine products, which are pills that contain non-nicotine medicines. NRT products include nicotine gum, nicotine patches, and nicotine lozenges. Users chew nicotine gum as they would standard chewing gum when a cigarette craving hits. They use lozenges in a similar, as-needed fashion, except that lozenges dissolve in the mouth and are not chewed. Users place nicotine patches onto the skin, where they remain throughout the day to supply a steady stream of nicotine to the body.[1]


Flickr: Carsten Lorentzen
Types Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), non-nicotine medications[1]
NRT varieties Nicotine gum, patches, and lozenges[1]
Medication varieties Chantix®, Zyban®[1]
Prescription needed? Medications require a prescription, NTR products typically do not[1]
Effectiveness Smoking cessation agents are proven more effective than placebos[2]
Disclaimer The information provided by is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Do not take any action based on the information on this page without consulting a physician.
Author Selena Robinson


About Smoking Cessation Agents

Consumers can purchase nicotine gum under the brand name Nicorette®, nicotine lozenges under the brand name Commit, and nicotine skin patches under the brand names Nicoderm® and Habitrol®.[1]

There are two FDA-approved smoking cessation medications in pill form: buproprion, found in Zyban, and varenicline, found in Chantix®. Both of these help curb cravings for nicotine so that users feel less of an urge to smoke. If these medications do not work, physicians may prescribe the blood pressure drug clonidine or the antidepressant nortriptyline. These are less effective than Chantix® and Zyban®, but may work for some patients.[3]

All types of smoking cessation agents may cause side effects. NRT products may cause complications for users with high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat or stomach ulcers. Prescription pills may cause trouble sleeping, and Chantix® may cause upset stomach or gas.[1]


Smoking Cessation Agent Effectiveness

Data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and other health organizations indicates that all smoking cessation agents are more effective than a placebo. Varenicline has been shown to be most effective. Buproprion and NRT therapy are equally effective as one another, but slightly less effective than varenicline.[2]

Drug Side Effects

Drug Side Effects


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