Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is a pharmacological treatment for nicotine dependence. Most frequently used by individuals attempting to quit smoking cigarettes, NRT provides nicotine in an alternative administration, generally through the skin or mouth. NRT has been shown to significantly increase quitting success rates in individuals attempting smoking cessation. This entry describes current types of NRT and their potential side effects, reviews the effectiveness of NRT, presents considerations for using NRT with specific populations, and lists alternatives to NRT.


Six types of NRT are currently available to consumers: patches, lozenges, gum, spray, inhalers, and tablets. Whereas some of these are available over the counter, others are by prescription only. A discussion of each type, including side effects and contraindications, follows.

Nicotine Transdermal Patch

The nicotine transdermal patch is ...

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