Combine nicotine patches and chewing gum

Quitting smoking is worth everything

Smoke doesn't just cost money. Cigarette smoke contains many toxic and carcinogenic substances. Tobacco nicotine also contaminates the cardiovascular system and makes you addicted. This makes smoking cessation more difficult. However, those who are willing to stop should not be discouraged. Several studies show that health always benefits from going out – even among longtime smokers (see Special Stop smoking).

The right combination of methods

Many rely on nicotine supplement substitutes such as patches, chewing gum, or lozenges. They continue to guide the body towards nicotine and thus can alleviate physical withdrawal symptoms such as concentration problems and irritability. Like the current one The meta-analysis shows that it is worth it – especially for stronger smokers – to combine different preparations. For their study, scientists from the independent Cochrane Collaboration Research Network evaluated 63 studies with about 41,000 smokers willing to quit and regularly smoke at least 15 cigarettes a day. Result: When subjects used a patch and a faster release form of nicotine (such as chewing gum, lozenge, oral spray or inhaler), they increased their chances of successfully quitting.

There are no indications of major health risks

According to a meta-analysis, the Combi Method increased the possibility of permanent retirement: out of 1,000 people who left work, 174 got jobs. Of those who used only one type of nicotine replacement product, only 139 were successful. This may be related to the different and thus complementary mode of action of both types of products. While chewing gum and the like – like smoking a cigarette – suppress acute craving within minutes due to the relatively rapid increase in nicotine in the blood, the spots release nicotine more slowly and at consistent doses for 16 or 24 hours. Evidence of increased health risk with the use of two drugs has not been found in studies.

Higher doses of nicotine chewing gum may be better

The study also found evidence that nicotine gums at higher doses promise more. Therefore, some suggest that heavily addicted smokers who take chewing gum with 4 milligrams of nicotine will find it easier to get rid of addiction than with the 2 milligram variant. How heavy is a smoker here, who smokes more than 20 cigarettes a day or feels strongly craving after waking up. As for the plaster, the 24 hour option can tighten the cigarette bolt more than the 16 hour variation. This is especially true in the morning.

Switch to the next lower dose after a few weeks

For all replacement products, however: they are merely a help in the transition to life as a non-smoker – and should be gradually reduced in dosage. The German Cancer Research Center recommends that the nicotine patch be used for 8 to 12 weeks for combination treatment, while at the same time the faster effective preparation should be gradually discontinued within 4 to 6 weeks.

With an e-cigarette to success?

Some also choose the route of e-cigarettes to quit smoking. This is, however, controversial (see Special E-cigarettes). Although studies provide evidence that e-cigarettes can facilitate withdrawal. However, critics complain that mating can also lead to nicotine addiction. In addition, data on long-term consequences are still lacking. stream The US Department of Health is testing with some young people who have serious lung problems whether it has anything to do with e-cigarette consumption.

Non-smokers – the psyche also counts

For long-term renunciation to work, smokers should also consider the physical symptoms of withdrawal. current In this regard, a meta-analysis shows that those using behavioral therapy in addition to nicotine replacement – such as a non-smoking course or personal counseling – significantly increase their chances of going out.

Health insurance companies often subsidize such courses as opposed to nicotine replacement products (all details in Comparison of health insurance on test.de). There are also free internet offers and phone consultations, for example from Federal Center for Health Education (BzgA). It offers an online program "Smoke-free" (see network rauchfrei-info.de) as well as telephone counseling at: 0 800/8 31 31 31. The The German Cancer Research Center gives Self-help brochures Tips on how to prepare your way out – and also endure.

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