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What Is the Nicotine Inhaler Used For?

If you are trying to quit smoking, your healthcare provider may recommend using a nicotine inhaler to reduce symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. This medication works by releasing a controlled amount of nicotine into your mouth each time you use the inhaler. The nicotine is then absorbed from the mouth into the body, helping to relieve cravings and other withdrawal symptoms.

An Introduction to the Nicotine Inhaler and Its Uses

The nicotine inhaler (Nicotrol® Inhaler) is a prescription medication approved to reduce nicotine withdrawal symptoms that occur when people quit smoking (this is known as smoking cessation). By reducing symptoms of nicotine withdrawal, such as cravings, the inhaler helps people quit. It should be used as part of a complete smoking cessation program.
Nicotine is an extremely addictive drug found in tobacco products such as cigarettes. When you inhale from a cigarette, nicotine is rapidly absorbed into your bloodstream and reaches your brain within seconds. In the brain, nicotine activates reward centers, causing feelings of pleasure.
Nicotine does not stay in the body for very long, however, and more nicotine is needed to maintain the pleasurable feelings. Over time, the body becomes dependent on nicotine. If nicotine levels are not maintained in the body, intense withdrawal symptoms occur. The symptoms of nicotine withdrawal include:
  • Irritability
  • Problems concentrating
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Increased appetite
  • Craving.
The symptoms of nicotine withdrawal may begin within hours of your last cigarette, and often intensify over the next few days, making it difficult to quit smoking. Many people continue to smoke in order relieve the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.
In addition to physical dependence, smoking causes psychological addiction. People often associate smoking with certain activities, people, or places. These activities, people, and places can then trigger the urge to smoke, making the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal more difficult to overcome.
The nicotine and other chemicals found in cigarettes are harmful to the body. In fact, smoking can damage every organ in the body. Some of the health problems caused by smoking include:
The health benefits of quitting smoking are numerous. When you quit, you can reverse some of the harmful effects of smoking. Quitting can improve your lung function, lower your risk for cancer, lower your blood pressure, and decrease your chance of developing heart disease.
Quitting smoking is not easy. First and foremost, you must be ready to quit to be successful. However, just being ready to quit is not enough. Most people need help to succeed, and many people need to try several times before they are finally successful.
In addition, simply quitting "cold turkey" is extremely difficult. Smoking cessation medications such as the nicotine inhaler are available to help people quit.
The nicotine inhaler can reduce the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal, which can help you stop smoking. It will not help with the psychological addiction, however. This is the reason the nicotine inhaler is best used with a complete smoking cessation program that includes strategies to help overcome the intense psychological urges to smoke.
If you have made the decision to try to quit smoking, you do not have to do it alone. Talk to your healthcare provider about your desire to quit. He or she can help you develop an individual smoking cessation program that will give you the best chance at successfully quitting for good.
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Nicotine Inhaler Information

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