A recent review of research related to NRTs, has indicated that smokers who use higher doses of nicotine are more likely to quit than those using lower doses. The review also found that some smokers may benefit from using two forms of NRT rather than one.

Additionally, the research indicated that in smokers who intend to switch to using an NRT, it helped to start using it before quitting cigarettes. This may be because having nicotine already present in their system, smokers were getting less of a hit when they light up, and therefore can make cigarettes less enjoyable.

Allowing former smokers the freedom to regulate their own nicotine consumption

Smokers are able to control the amount of nicotine they obtain, therefore having levels restricted when they are trying to quit is counterproductive.

A recent study by researchers at Queen Mary University of London indicated similar findings. The researchers followed 50 smokers in a tobacco dependence clinic in Argentina, as they tried to quit smoking. This was the first study to tailor nicotine dosing according to smokers’ choices as they try to quit, and the results suggested that most smokers using stop-smoking medications can tolerate doses that are up to four times higher than the ones recommended.

Study author Dunja Przulj said that when they are smoking, smokers are able to control the amount of nicotine they obtain, and that having levels restricted when they are trying to quit is counterproductive. “Smokers determine their nicotine intake while they smoke, but when they try to quit, their nicotine levels are dictated by the recommended dosing of the treatment. These levels may be far too low for some people, increasing the likelihood that they go back to smoking.”

Medicinal nicotine products may be under-dosing smokers and could explain why we’ve seen limited success in treatments, such as patches and gum, helping smokers to quit. A change in their application is now needed. Our findings should provide reassurance to smokers that it is okay to use whatever nicotine doses they find helpful,” added Przulj.

These results highlight another reason why smokers prefer e-cigs over other cessation tools

Renowned stop-smoking researcher Professor Peter Hajek also from Queen Mary University of London, pointed out that these results indicate why e-cigarettes may be preferred by smokers. “Smokers are perfectly capable of determining which doses of nicotine they find helpful. There is no risk of dangerous overdose, because nicotine includes an effective safety valve in the form of nausea.”

“Our results also suggests that one of the reasons e-cigarettes are so much more popular and potentially more effective than other nicotine replacement treatments is that smokers can adjust their nicotine intake according to their needs,” he added.

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