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NRT & Medications

It’s normal to have cravings and withdrawal symptoms when you stop smoking. When used properly, nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) can help reduce these symptoms to double your chance of quitting successfully!


Nicotine is the addictive chemical in cigarettes but it is not the cause of the illness or disease that comes from smoking.

NRT is a safe way to get nicotine without all the other harmful chemicals found in cigarettes.

NRT has been approved by Health Canada and can help you quit by reducing withdrawal symptoms. By using NRT with other stop smoking medications and counseling, you can greatly increase your chances of quitting for good.

By using NRT, you can slowly reduce the amount of nicotine in your body. Even if you use NRT for a long time, it is still a much safer way to get nicotine than smoking.

Women with Nicotine patch

Types of Nicotine Replacement Therapy

This is a brief overview. Make sure to read all packaging for instructions and possible side effects.

Pharmacist and customer in consultation

Types of Stop Smoking Medications

There are prescription medications approved by Health Canada that can help you quit smoking. These medications have a number of different brand names, so talk to a pharmacist or your health care provider to see what’s out there.

Long-acting NRT makes you more comfortable while you quit by providing a slow, steady delivery of nicotine. It can be used with short-acting NRT to help manage cravings.

The nicotine patch is long-acting NRT.

Short-acting NRT delivers a quick dose of nicotine to help get through cravings and withdrawal symptoms without smoking. For best results, avoid eating and drinking 15 minutes before and after use with all short acting NRTs.

Types of short-acting NRT include nicotine gum, lozenge, mouth-spray, and inhaler.

Taking varenicline along with other stop-smoking supports can almost triple your chances of quitting smoking! Varenicline blocks the effect of nicotine on the brain so smoking becomes less enjoyable. It is the most effective medication for quitting smoking.

Using bupropion alone can double your chances of quitting smoking! Bupropion reduces cravings and withdrawal symptoms. It is another effective option for quitting smoking if varenicline isn’t right for you. It can also help if you are depressed or have signs of depression.

CAMH NRT How-to videos

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