Whether you're thinking about quitting smoking or have recently stopped, you’ve probably got some questions. Fortunately we’ve compiled some of the most asked questions and grouped them together below.
If we haven’t covered what you have in mind, feel free to contact our Consumer Product Information Team
What strength of Nicabate Patch should I use and how long should I use them for?
The strength depends on how many cigarettes you smoke a day. If you smoke 10 or more, you should start on Step 1 with the 21mg patch. Use that for six weeks, before moving to Step 2 with the 14mg patch for two weeks. Then on to Step 3 with the 7mg patch for a further 2-4weeks.
If you smoke less than 10 cigarettes a day, you should start on Step 2 with a 14mg patch. Use that for six weeks, before moving to Step 3 with a 7mg patch. Also if you have cardiovascular disease or weigh less than 45kg you should start on a lower dose product.
If you need to use Nicabate Patches for longer than 6 months seek advice from a healthcare professional.
What are Nicabate Pre-Quit patches & what are they used for?
Nicabate Pre-Quit is a 21mg Patch for those who smoke more than 15 cigarettes a day. As you can still smoke while on Pre-quit, they are used 2 weeks prior to your set quitting date. This is a new approach using Nicabate Patches to help reduce the anxiety associating with quitting abruptly. The use of Nicabate Pre-Quit should be followed by the 10-12week Patch program to help you give up smoking completely.
How does the therapeutic nicotine from the patch get through the skin?
It passes through the outer layer of skin to the blood vessels beneath. The Nicabate Clear and Pre-Quit Patches contain a special membrane that controls the release of nicotine for reliable, steady dosing regardless of skin type.
Can I use more than one Nicabate Patch at a time?
No. A single patch of the correct strength provides enough nicotine to help reduce the cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
Can I drink alcohol while using nicotine patches?
Yes - but try to avoid doing so if you usually associate it with smoking.
If I buy Nicabate Clear or Pre-Quit Patches but don't use them for a few months, will it still be effective?
Unopened Nicabate Patches can be used up to the expiry date shown on the protective pouch. Once the pouch is opened, the patch should be applied immediately since it loses nicotine on exposure to the air.
Can I cut up the patch to receive less therapeutic nicotine?
No. The Nicabate Patch is designed to gradually release therapeutic nicotine throughout the day, providing just enough to reduce the cravings and withdrawal symptoms when you quit smoking. Extensive clinical testing has established the appropriate amounts of therapeutic nicotine for each of the three Steps. Cutting patches is therefore not recommended because it may affect delivery of therapeutic nicotine into the blood.
Since using the patches I am having trouble sleeping and sometimes I have very odd dreams. What can I do?
Sleep disturbances, including abnormal dreams and insomnia, have been reported with the use of nicotine patches. Sleep disturbances are also associated with nicotine withdrawal and may be experienced regardless of the method used to give up smoking. Nicabate patches are approved to be used for 24 hours which can help to avoid morning cravings. However, if the you experience any vivid dreams or other disruptions of sleep while wearing the patch for 24 hours, the patch may be removed at bed time (after 16 hours) and a new one put on upon waking the next day.
If this symptom is troublesome and does not improve, remove the patch and consult your pharmacist or doctor.
Nicabate Minis Lozenges
What strength Nicabate Minis Lozenges should I use?
If you smoke 20 cigarettes or less a day, you should use the Nicabate 1.5mg Minis Lozenges. If you smoke more than 20 cigarettes a day, use Nicabate 4mg Minis Lozenges.
How do I use the Nicabate Minis Lozenges?
In order to get the correct dose of therapeutic nicotine from the Minis Lozenges, you shouldn't chew them or swallow them whole. Simply place one lozenge in your mouth and let it dissolve. Periodically, the lozenge should be moved from one side of your mouth to the other until it’s dissolved completely (approximately 10 minutes).
Can I eat or drink while using Nicabate Minis Lozenges?
No. Since food and drink can interfere with the nicotine absorption from the lozenge, we recommend you don’t.
Can I drink alcohol while I'm on a treatment course of Nicabate Minis Lozenges?
Yes, you can, but you shouldn't drink either alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks while you have a lozenge in your mouth. Also, to reduce the risk of a relapse, it’s best to avoid drinking alcohol if you associate it with smoking.
What should I do if I smoke while following a treatment course of Nicabate Minis Lozenges?
If you just smoked a couple but want to continue your quit attempt then you can. If you’ve gone back to smoking then set a new quit date and try again when you’re ready. Or, if you feel that giving up straightaway is too big a step, you can use the lozenges to help you cut down the number of cigarettes you smoke as a first step before stopping completely.
Can I use more than one Nicabate Minis Lozenge at a time?
No. Each lozenge should give you the right amount of nicotine to help tackle your cravings and withdrawal symptoms. You can use another lozenge after 1-2 hours but you should not exceed 20 lozenges per day of the 1.5mg or 15 lozenges per day of the 4mg strength lozenge.
Nicabate Mint Gum
What strength Nicabate Gum should I use?
If you have your first cigarette within 30 minutes of waking up, you should use the Nicabate 4mg Mint Gum. If you start smoking more than 30 minutes after waking up, use the Nicabate 2mg Mint Gum. Chew one piece of Nicabate Gum when you have the urge to smoke, to a total of between 8 to 12 pieces a day. Gradually reduce your use of gum to just one or two pieces a day until you are nicotine free.
Can I eat or drink while chewing therapeutic Nicabate Gum?
No. Food and drink may interfere with the nicotine absorption from the gum in your mouth, we recommended you avoid them whilst chewing gum.
Can I drink alcohol while I'm on a treatment course of Nicabate Gum?
Yes, you can, but you should avoid both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks whilst actually chewing. Also, to cut the risk of a relapse, avoid drinking alcohol if you associate it with smoking.
What should I do if I smoke whilst on a treatment course of Nicabate Gum?
If you just smoked a couple but want to continue your quit attempt then you can. If you’ve gone back to smoking then set a new quit date and try again when you’re ready. Or, if you feel that giving up straightaway is too big a step, you can use the gum to help you cut down the number of cigarettes you smoke as a first step before stopping completely.
Can I chew more than one piece of Nicabate Gum at any one time?
No. Each piece of gum gives you the right amount of nicotine to tackle your cravings and withdrawal symptoms while the step-down programme slowly weans you off nicotine until you don’t need it anymore. Chew 8-12 pieces a day (maximum 15). Gradually reduce the number of pieces you use per day until you don’t need it anymore.
What if I use too much Nicabate Gum?
It's very unlikely that you'll overdose, because generally you get less nicotine from gum than when you were smoking. If you do use too many, the effects would be similar to suddenly smoking more cigarettes than you’re used to. If you did, you may start to feel sick, dizzy and unwell. Stop using the Nicabate Gum and get immediate medical advice from a doctor or hospital casualty department or call the Poisons Information Centre on 131126. If possible, show them the packet or the leaflet within it.
What happens if a child ingests Nicabate Gum?
Even small quantities of nicotine may be dangerous to a child and could even prove fatal. If you suspect nicotine poisoning in a child, contact your doctor or local hospital or call the Poisons Information Centre on 131126 immediately. If possible, take the product packaging with you. Be sure to keep Nicabate Gum and any other quit smoking aids safely out of the reach and sight of children.
Signs and symptoms of an overdose may include headache, sickness, stomach pains and diarrhoea. If a child has used or eaten any of the gum, contact your doctor or nearest hospital casualty department immediately. If possible show them the Nicabate packet or the leaflet within it.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy
Aren’t therapeutic nicotine products just as dangerous as cigarettes?
No. Therapeutic nicotine products like patches, lozenges and gum are a safer alternative to smoking.
Cigarette smoke, on the other hand, is composed of over 4,000 chemicals including cyanide, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, radioactive substances and carcinogens - and it's these substances that make it deadly.
Aren’t nicotine-based stop smoking treatments addictive?
Nicabate products are designed to provide a temporary source of therapeutic nicotine, which can be reduced gradually over a period of time, to make adjusting to life without cigarettes more bearable. Used correctly, you should be nicotine-free by the end of the programme.
What effect does the nicotine in nicotine replacement therapy have on my body?
The side effects associated with nicotine replacement products are generally mild and may include a slightly sore/irritated throat for oral forms such as nicotine lozenges and redness/itching for nicotine patches. You should always read the information in the pack before you use a product. In the unlikely event that you experience unusual or severe side effects, contact a healthcare professional. If you believe you have experienced an adverse event when using our product, please contact The Product Information Team on 1800 028 533 (freecall).
Can I smoke whilst using nicotine replacement therapy products?
If you think you can stop smoking straightaway then you should. However, if you feel this is too big a step, then you may wish to try cutting down the number of cigarettes you smoke as a first step before stopping completely.
You can still smoke while using Nicabate Pre-Quit Patches. Pre-Quit Patches can be used two weeks prior to your quit smoking date for those who smoke 15 or more cigarettes a day. Using Pre-Quit can help you reduce the number of cigarettes as a way to cut down before taking on the 10-12 week Nicabate Patch program.
If you prefer an oral format, Nicabate Minis, which contain therapeutic nicotine, can also help.
Can I use both a patch and an oral aid (like lozenges or gum) simultaneously?
We offer a program that uses a combination of products to help you stay on track, for more information please see our combo-therapy page
Will I get too much nicotine from a therapeutic nicotine product if I was previously smoking low nicotine cigarettes?
The nicotine levels on cigarette packs are highly misleading. Few people who change to low nicotine cigarettes substantially lower their exposure to tar and nicotine because they tend to smoke more of them and inhale deeper. However, if you used to smoke light cigarettes and experience excessive side effects from therapeutic nicotine products, you should consult a healthcare professional and move to a lower dose. If you believe you have experienced an adverse event when using our product, please contact The Product Information Team on 1800 028 533 (freecall).
Do I need a prescription from a healthcare professional for therapeutic nicotine product such as patches, lozenges and gum?
No. You can buy them without prescription at most pharmacies and supermarkets. For more information on current stockists visit here
Are therapeutic nicotine products suitable for pregnant women?
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding it is best if you can give up smoking without using therapeutic nicotine. However, it is better to stop smoking using these products than to continue smoking. As with all medicines, if you are pregnant and want to use these products you should talk to a healthcare professional first.
Is there anyone who should not use nicotine-based quit smoking aids?
- People with an allergy to nicotine
- People under the age of 12
Also, people with certain conditions should consult their doctor before using therapeutic nicotine products. For example if:
- You have serious liver or kidney disease
- You have uncontrolled overactive thyroid gland or phaeochromocytoma
- You have stomach ulcers or other problems with your stomach or throat (oral formats only)
- You are pregnant or breast feeding
What do you mean by ‘healthcare professional'?
By the term ‘healthcare professional,’ we mean a doctor, nurse, smoking cessation advisor or pharmacist.
What effect does the nicotine in tobacco have on the body?
Your blood pressure and pulse rate are all increased by smoking, but the main effect is that the nicotine is chemically addictive and has subtle, mood-enhancing effects on the brain.
In fact, if you smoke, your brain actually grows more receptors which thrive on nicotine. When you stop, these receptors are deprived of the nicotine they want. This is why you sometimes have strong cravings for a cigarette that threaten to overwhelm your willpower. While you wean the receptors off nicotine, you will probably also experience withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, fatigue and hunger.
To find out more, visit our article Know What You're Up Against
What should I expect when I stop smoking?
First of all, congratulations – you’ve made the right decision! But be prepared because, inevitably, some withdrawal symptoms will be on the way. They can begin almost immediately after you stop smoking. They’re usually at their worst during the first few days, although they can continue for several weeks. You may experience any of the following: craving for cigarettes, coughing, anxiety, irritability, restlessness, insomnia, mood changes, nervousness, and headaches. But don’t worry, we’re here to help.
For more information, see our article Discover what to expect when you're quitting
What should I do the day I stop smoking?
Start by asking your family, friends and colleagues to support you! Then throw out all your cigarettes, matches, lighters, ashtrays – in fact everything you associate with smoking. From then on, keep busy. Do some exercise, go to the cinema, take a walk or get together with friends. For more great tips and tricks be sure to check out our quitting tips and recording your commitment pages.
Will I put on weight when I stop smoking?
Many people (but not everyone) gain a few pounds in the first 8-10 weeks after they quit smoking. But it’s a small price to pay for the enormous gains to your overall health and appearance.
If you continue to gain weight after the first two months, try and work out why and then change your habits accordingly. (If you eat high fat snacks then switch to healthy snacks, for example, and take more exercise to burn off the extra calories).
You could use Nicabate 4 mg Lozenges (if you smoke within 30 minutes of waking) which can help you minimise the weight gain associated with quitting smoking. By helping you to control your weight whilst you quit, Nicabate 4 mg Lozenges can help you stay strong, in control and feeling good about yourself.
Dealing With Slip Ups
What if I slip up and have a cigarette?
Don’t worry – it happens. The first thing to do is not panic. The second is to arm yourself with more information to try and male sure it doesn’t happen again – our article here will help.
I've tried quitting before and always failed. Is my willpower simply not strong enough?
No! The success rate for people who try to stop smoking cold turkey is a dismal 3-5%. On average it takes between 7-9 attempts before your typical quitter finds success. Why not try again with the help of a therapeutic nicotine product like Nicabate? It can double your chances of quitting successfully compared to willpower alone, and signing up to our Pledge to Quit online community could increase your chances even further (see below for more details).
Where can I discuss stopping smoking with others who are trying to give up?
Most people don’t find it easy to stop smoking - so if you’re struggling, you’re certainly not alone. Sharing experiences with other people who are trying to quit is very helpful and could give you the encouragement you need to stop smoking successfully. Our Pledge To Quit online community founded in 2011 is designed to give ex-smokers a platform to offer advise, tips and encouragement - It’s a great place to get support from others who understand what you’re going through.