Nicotine patches, gum and lozenges
Through Quitline you can get nicotine patches, gum or lozenges for $5.
How Patches, Gum and Lozenges Work
Using patches, gum and lozenges for eight weeks can double your chances of quitting. They will reduce your cigarette cravings without damaging your health. They work by replacing some of the nicotine you usually get from cigarettes or tobacco.
Some medical conditions require specialist advice on using nicotine patches, gum and lozenges. If any of the following applies to you, please call Quitline:
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding
- You are a diabetic on insulin
- You are taking medication for a mental health condition
- You weigh less than 45 kilos (7 stone)
- You have had a heart attack, stroke or severe angina in the last two weeks.
How To Order
You can order subsidised nicotine patches, gum and lozenges online when you register. We’ll send you a Quitcard to take to redeem at your local pharmacy.
An 8 week supply of one of these products costs around $5. Without the subsidy an 8 week supply of these products could cost you over $200.
To see how to use patches, gum and lozenges watch these clips:
How to use gum
- Once you start using gum, do not smoke.
- The gum shouldn’t be chewed like normal gum or you might get hiccups or a sore stomach and the gum won’t work properly to help your cravings.
- Instead, bite down 1-2 times to release the hot, peppery taste and then ‘park’ it between your gums and cheek to release the nicotine. Some people don’t like the taste at first, but you do get used to it.
- Repeat this 5-6 times over a 30 minute period.
- Do not drink when using the gum, or for up to 15 minutes afterwards because you can also get a sore stomach and hiccups this way. The gum also won’t work properly help your cravings.
- Most people use 8-12 pieces in a 24 hour period. If you need more you can use up to 25 pieces of 2mg gum and 15 pieces of 4mg gum within a 24 hour period.
- Throw the gum away after 30 minutes, safely out of the reach of children and pets.
How to use lozenges
- Once you start using lozenges, do not smoke.
- The lozenge shouldn’t be sucked like a normal lozenge or the nicotine won’t work properly and you will get hiccups or a sore stomach.
- Instead, suck enough to release the hot, peppery flavour and then ‘park’ it between your gums and cheek to release the nicotine. Some people don’t like the taste at first, but you do get used to it.
- Repeat this 5-6 times over a 30 minute period.
- Do not drink when using the lozenge, or for up to 15 minutes afterwards because you can also get a sore stomach and hiccups this way. The lozenge also won’t work properly help your cravings.
- Most people use 8-12 pieces in a 24 hour period.
- Throw the lozenge away after 30 minutes, safely out of the reach of children and pets.
How to use patches
- Once you start using patches, do not smoke.
- Use a new patch, and a new area of skin, each day and leave the patch on for 24 hours. Don't remove or reapply the patch.
- Press firmly in place with your palm and hold for 20 seconds. If patches fail to stick properly, talk to Quitline 0800 778 778.
- Don't cut patches.
- Place on smooth, clean, dry skin (where no perfumes or lotions have been applied)
- Wash your hands after handling the patch.
- If you have vivid dreams when sleeping, remove the patch before you go to bed but apply a new one first thing in the morning.
- Throw the patch away safely out of the reach of children and pets.
Patches, gum and lozenges are very safe, and serious side effects are rare.
Sometimes patches can cause a slight reddening and itching of the skin. This is less likely if you change the area you apply the patch to on a daily basis. Also remember to apply the patch to clean, dry skin that does not have lotion or perfume on it. If the patch comes off try medical tape or call Quitline for an overpatch 0800 778 778.
Gum and lozenges might give you a slightly irritated mouth and throat and more saliva (spit) than usual. If you chew or suck the gum or lozenges too often, you might swallow too much nicotine and this can cause wind, hiccups and indigestion.
If you experience any side effects, call Quitline on 0800 778 778 or see your pharmacist.
If you haven't been smoking during the first 8-weeks congratulations! You are now smokefree and you may want to try stopping patches/gum/lozenges as well. Please note that we don't recommend weaning down even though it may say to wean down on the box of patches/gum/lozenges. Research shows that it is best to just stop using patches/gum/lozenges altogether or order some more of the same dose rather than cut down.
There are three parts of an addiction and the patches/gum/lozenges help you control the nicotine part of an addiction. If you want to stop relying on nicotine it’s best to stop taking gum/patches/lozenges altogether and be prepared for any withdrawal symptoms you may have. To find out more about the 3 parts of an addiction, click here. If you have any questions, or if you really think you would like to wean off by using a lower dose please call us on 0800 778 778.
A way to cope with the emotion and habit associated with smoking is to fill out the Tear-out Diary in The Quit Book - this is a free resource sent to everyone who signs up with Quitline.