Nicotine Replacement Therapy FAQ

Did you know that
using medication
or nicotine replacement
can increase chances of
successfully stopping
smoking by up to 50%.


Can I use both nicotine gum and the patch?
Click here for the answer
Yes, if you continue to have cravings while on the patch, it is reasonable to use nicotine gum in addition to the patch to treat sudden cravings or urges to smoke. Using two types of NRT in this way can be better than using only one type of NRT.

How do I know that I am taking the right amount of NRT?

Click here for the answer

If the NRT patch is adequate, you will feel relatively comfortable between cravings. You may still have strong urges to smoke during the day, but most of the time you will not feel any cravings or discomfort.

Does NRT cause cancer?
Click here for the answer
No. Although there are over 60 chemicals in cigarette smoke that cause cancer, none of these are in NRT.

Can I smoke and use the patch/gum at the same time?

Click here for the answer

Smoking or receiving nicotine through other sources while you are using NRT may result in your getting too much nicotine and experiencing side effects. However, some people find that using NRT prior to quitting is helpful because it assists them in reducing smoking and increases their confidence in their ability to quit.

Can I become addicted to NRT?
Click here for the answer
The risk of becoming addicted to NRT is small – much smaller than the risks of continuing to smoke. About 1 in 20 people who use NRT to stop smoking continue to use it in the longer term. It is easier to stop using NRT than to stop smoking. This is because the dose of nicotine in NRT is not as high as in cigarettes and NRT doesn’t give the same satisfaction as smoking.

Should I take off the patch to take a shower?

Click here for the answer

If applied properly, you can wear your patch in the shower, bath, or hot tub. If the patch falls off, discard the old patch and apply a new patch.

Question: How long after my last cigarette should I wait before I begin my quit attempt using Nicotine gum?
Answer: We recommend choosing a start date for your quit attempt and beginning the use of nicotine gum first thing that day, before having any cigarettes. However, if you choose to wait and start your quit attempt later in the day, you must wait 30 minutes or longer after smoking your last cigarette before using nicotine gum.

Question: If I spit out the gum, can I re-use the piece of gum?
Answer:Nicotine gum lasts for about 30 minutes. If you are unsure how long you used the piece of gum, dispose of gum away from the reach of children and pets.

Question: What if my child or my pet eats a piece of Nicotine Gum?
Answer: Make every effort to keep Nicotine gum out of reach of children and pets. In case of an accidental ingestion, get professional assistance or contact a poison control center immediately.

Question: I have diabetes. Can I use the nicotine gum?
Answer: Nicotine gum is sucrose free.

Question: Why can’t I eat or drink for 15 minutes before using NRT?
Answer: Eating or drinking even mildly acidic foods and beverages directly before using or during use of Nicotine gum inhibits nicotine absorption into your bloodstream. A basic alkaline pH is required for the nicotine in nicotine gum to be properly released from the gum and absorbed through the lining of your mouth.

Question: How long should I use NRT?
Answer: Although NRT product information recommends that people use NRT for 2-3 months, some people are not ready to stop using NRT after three months. Long-term use has been demonstrated to be safe. It is recommended that NRT be used for as long as needed to maintain or prolong cessation.

Question: Where can I get more information?
Answer: Check out QuitNow’s Guide to Medication for more detailed information on NRT.

Want to know more about the Dads in Gear Indigenous Program?