Nicotine gum is a type of chewing gum that delivers nicotine to the body. Each piece typically contains 2 or 4 mg of nicotine, roughly the nicotine content of 1 or 2 cigarettes, with the appropriate dosage depending on the smoking habits of the user. Popular brands include Nicoderm/Nicorette and Nicotinell. As nicotine is an addictive element in cigarettes, a potential for addiction to nicotine gum exists. Although studies performed by drug companies indicate that changing to nicotine gum leads people to quit both the gum and smoking, for many the use of the nicotine replacement gum becomes chronic as well. According to wikipedia, “Nicotine gum may also drive the user to "dip" tobacco because it replaces the activity of "lighting up" with a reinforced oral self-dosage, and when the nicotine gum user runs out of the gum, they may turn to hazardous forms of "dip" or chewing tobacco.”
Nicotine patches come in three steps so that users can phase out nicotine use: 21, 14, and 7 mg. A cigarette delivers roughly 1 mg of nicotine, so someone who used to smoke a pack (20 cigarettes) per day or more could start with the "step I" 21 mg patch, while someone who smoked less could start with "step II". After several weeks (6 is recommended) at step I, new non-smokers move on to step II (usually two weeks) and step III (two weeks).
Patches are to be worn for 24 hours at a time. However, when worn when one is sleeping, the individual tends to suffer from nightmares.
Nicotine replacement products, including patches, account for about 7% of quitters quitting for at least 6 months or so.
Nicotine patches are also useful in treating schizophrenia.
Though they are referred to as nicotine pills, they actually don’t contain any nicotine at all. ZYBAN is a very widely used non-nicotine pill. One of the selling points of this drug, as opposed to patches or gum, is that unlike the latter, ZYBAN does not put nicotine into the body. If you use the patches or gum, you should stop smoking so that you don't overdose on nicotine. With ZYBAN, you continue to smoke when you first start taking the medication, eventually reaching a quit-date, and taking the drug for a period of time after quitting. According the ZYBAN website, "The most common side effects experienced with ZYBAN include dry mouth and difficulty sleeping. There are other risks associated with the use of ZYBAN, so it is important to talk to your healthcare professional to see whether ZYBAN is right for you. There is a risk of seizure associated with ZYBAN, which is increased in certain patients."
However, CHANTRIX, a competing non-nicotine pill, has been proven to be much more effective than ZYBAN. 1,022 patients were enrolled in a study, in which they either received CHANTIX 1 mg twice a day, Zyban 150 mg twice a day, or sugar pills twice a day for 12 weeks. In addition to the pills, patients were also given a booklet on quitting smoking and also received brief counseling at each visit. During weeks 9 through 12, the smoking status of each patient was checked, and the information was compared among the 3 groups. Patients were considered to have quit if had not smoked a cigarette (not even a puff) or used other nicotine products for the final 4 weeks of treatment. The study found that 18% quit while using sugar pills, 30% quit while using ZYBAN, and an amazing 44% quit while using CHANTIX.
According to the CHANTRIX website, “CHANTIX is proven to be effective, but it's not a magic pill. For most people, smoking can be both a physical and a behavioral challenge. That’s why we also offer GETQUIT™, a support plan.”
“GETQUIT combines smoking cessation research with key learnings from the fields of psychology and behavioral therapy to create a day-by-day plan designed to help CHANTIX users kick the smoking habit.”