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Quitting cold turkey works well for some people, but not everyone can deal with the discomfort of withdrawal after they quit smoking. In fact, many people have said the #1 reason they started smoking again was because they couldn’t deal with the physical withdrawal symptoms. Nicotine replacement therapy is an alternative form of smoking cessation that helps people wean themselves off cigarettes. The goal is to gradually decrease the level of nicotine in the body so that the physical withdrawal symptoms are a lot less severe.

One of the most obvious benefits of nicotine replacement therapy is that it reduces the physical withdrawal symptoms and allows the smoker to concentrate on his or her psychological withdrawal symptoms. Another benefit is that taking nicotine through patches, gums lozenges or other delivery methods is healthier than smoking because the person doesn’t ingest all the other harmful chemicals found in cigarettes. Most importantly of all, smokers who quit gradually with nicotine replacement therapy are less likely to start back up within the first few days because they can’t handle the physical withdrawal symptoms. Many people feel nicotine replacement therapy easier to accept mentally because it is a lot less drastic than quitting all at once.

Nicotine replacement aides can have side effects just like any other type of medication; someone may have to try several different types and brands before they find the right one. Nicotine replacement therapy reduces physical withdrawal symptoms by up to 90%, but it does not eliminate them completely. As the body steps down to lower levels of nicotine, smokers will still experience some physical discomfort. Nicotine replacement therapy does very little to help with the psychological addiction and the habits associated with being a long time smoker. If you smoke while you’re using a nicotine replacement therapy product, it will make you sick and you could actually overdose on nicotine. You shouldn’t undergo nicotine replacement therapy without consulting with your doctor first. Finally, nicotine replacement medicines can be very expensive and many insurance companies don’t cover them.

For most people, the pros definitely outweigh the cons. However, every person is different. Factors like how long you’ve smoked and how much you smoke can make a big difference in how successful nicotine replacement therapy is for you. The most important thing is your mindset. You have to want to quit and make up your mind that you are going to succeed. Nicotine replacement therapy is not cure-all solution, but for many people it is a solution to a chronic problem that affects almost every aspect of their life.

About the Author: Virgen Arnau smoked for 13 years but quit last year with the help of counseling, nicotine replacement therapy, and genuine will-power. He now works as a medical assistant and is studying to become an ultrasound technician. Visit for more information about this fantastic career field.