The Scoop On Smoking from ACSH: what every teen should know about tobacco

nicotine inhaler (nicotrol inhaler)

treatment type: drug
availability: prescription
treatment duration: 12-24 weeks
dose: 4 mg cartridge, 6-16 cartridges/day at first
cost per day: $5.70
for comparison, calculate how much you currently spend on tobacco products per day

Information about Nicotine Replacement Therapy on this website is based on data on adults only. The safety and efficacy of NRT for teens has not been sufficiently evaluated in order for the FDA to approve it for use for those under 18. However, clinical practice guidelines by the U.S. Public Health Service advise that physicians can consider prescribing NRT to those under 18 'when there is evidence of nicotine dependence and a desire to quit tobacco use.'(6) Before receiving a prescription for NRT, a teenager must be carefully evaluated by a doctor in order to determine whether they may benefit from using NRT, and whether the potential benefits of using it outweigh the potential risks.

Regardless of your age, it is always wise to consult a health care provider before beginning a smoking cessation program.

the bottom line

The nicotine inhaler delivers nicotine relatively quickly (as quickly as the gum does). Also, the product mimics the inhaling process and hand-to-mouth behavior of smoking, which may serve as a comfort to those trying to quit. However, some may see this as a disadvantage because for many smokers trying to quit, breaking the behavioral habit of smoking is an important part of the smoking cessation process. The most common side effect of the inhaler is irritation of the lining of the mouth (about 40% of users), but coughing, runny nose, and stomachache are also experienced by some users.(6) However, these symptoms are often mild and usually diminish with regular use.

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