Quit Smoking Products

Nicotine Patch

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The patch helps to lower cravings for cigarettes by supplying a constant level of nicotine to the blood stream through the skin. As your brain gets used to the steady supply of nicotine, you’ll become less dependent on cigarettes. Then you slowly lower your dose (3 steps) to become less dependent on the nicotine.

Consider using this product if you:

  • Are a moderate to heavy smoker (smoking 20 cigarettes or more per day).
  • Would prefer to have sustained and consistent levels of nicotine over 24 hours.
  • Don’t want to have to take a nicotine product throughout the day; you just put it on in the morning and you’re set!
  • Would like to conceal use of your smoking cessation aid. No one can even tell that you’re using the patch!

How it’s used:

  • The patch is attached to the skin like a bandage. You apply a new patch daily onto a dry, non-hairy spot of skin such as the upper arm or chest.
  • The patch must be used properly to be effective. Consult the instructions that are included in the package when you purchase the patch.
  • There are patches that are meant to be worn for 24 hours and those that can be removed at night (16 hours).
  • Cutting a patch in half will make it ineffective.


  • Available in Canada in different dosages and different brands. Dosages come in three levels – 21 mg (Step 1), 14 mg (Step 2), and 7 mg (Step 3).
    Those who smoke 20 cigarettes or more per day should begin the treatment program on Step 1, and generally stay on each level of the patch for 3-4 weeks.
    Those who smoke less than 20 cigarettes per day should begin using Step 2, and use it for 6-8 weeks before stepping down to Step 3.


  • People typically use patch therapy for 3 months. Some people may wish to use the patch longer than three months, which is still safer than relapsing to smoking. A common error is to quit the patch sooner than recommended.

Watch out for:

  • Possible side effects may include headache, insomnia, dizziness, anxiety, irritability, fatigue, stomach upset and diarrhea. Some of these effects may be nicotine withdrawal symptoms or may be caused by the nicotine in the patch. Your dose may need to be adjusted.
  • It is normal to experience mild itching, burning, or tingling when you first apply a patch, but this should disappear within an hour. If the skin under the patch becomes swollen or red, or if you develop a rash, remove the patch and call your health care provider.
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