Is it safe for pregnant women to use NRT?
Lifestyle (avoiding people, places and things that trigger smoking) and behaviour changes (delaying and distracting
techniques) are recommended ﬁrst before considering NRT. If you are unable to quit, try NRT aer the ﬁrst trimester
(3 months). If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, always check with your doctor before using any medications; this
includes NRT, prescription or over the counter drugs.
Using NRT during pregnancy is safer than smoking cigarettes. e safety of Bupropion and Varenicline in pregnancy is
unknown. For information about the risk or safety of prescription and over the counter drugs during pregnancy,
contact Motherisk’s Home Line at 416-813-6780.
Can someone under the age of 18 use NRT?
Yes. Most people start smoking before they are 18 years old and are already getting nicotine from cigarettes. Using
nicotine replacement therapy is much safer than smoking. ere is no evidence that NRT is harmful to young smokers.
What is nicotine?
Nicotine is the ingredient in cigarettes that causes people to become addicted to smoking. When you smoke, the
nicotine inhaled from a cigarette reaches your brain in 7 to 10 seconds making it extremely addictive.
How do I know what dose or type of NRT is right for me?
e amount or type of NRT needed to increase a person’s chances of quitting smoking wil be diﬀerent from one
person to the next. e doses listed on the side of the box are a guideline, but it takes time to learn the best way of
Is nicotine harmful?
using NRT to help you quit. It is important to monitor and be in control of your withdrawal symptoms.
Nicotine is not known to cause cancer, lung disease or heart disease. It is the over 4,000 harmful chemicals found in
cigarette smoke that cause lung, heart disease and cancer.
Is it okay to use more than one NRT at the same time?
For some people, using more than one type of NRT (nicotine patch, gum, inhaler or lozenge) at a time can be more
What is Nicotine Replacement erapy (NRT)?
eﬀective than using only one of these methods alone. Always check with your doctor before using any medications; this
NRT refers to the nicotine patch, gum, inhaler and lozenge. NRT has been approved by Health Canada as an eﬀective
includes NRT, prescription or over the counter drugs. Combination NRT (16mg patch with 2mg gum) has been
medication for helping people to quit smoking as it helps to reduce nicotine withdrawal symptoms. NRT is safe for
approved for general sale in Canada without the need for a prescription.
smokers. It provides a “clean” form of nicotine without the other dangerous chemicals found in cigarettes.
If I am taking Bupropion (Zyban) to help me quit smoking, is it safe for me
Could I get addicted to NRT?
ere is very little risk of becoming addicted to NRT. It is unheard of with the patch, but some users of the gum have
to also use NRT?
used it for years to stay oﬀ cigarettes. e nicotine from NRT is absorbed into your body much more slowly and in
Bupropion (Zyban) is another quit smoking medication approved by Health Canada. Some studies show that using
lower doses than from cigarettes. It does not contain the harmful chemicals that are in cigarettes.
NRT in addition to Bupropion (Zyban) increases a person’s chances of quitting.
Are stop smoking medications eﬀective in helping people quit?
How long can I use NRT?
Yes, Health Canada has approved three types of medications for helping people to quit smoking: NRT, Bupropion
NRT should be used as long as needed to quit smoking and to stay quit. Some people may need to continue using NRT
(Zyban) and Varenicline (Champix). If used properly, these medications can double to quadruple the quit rates.
for years. Using NRT for long periods of time is considered safer than smoking.
Is it true that smoking while using NRT causes heart attacks?
I’m not ready to quit. Can I use NRT to help me cut down on my smoking?
No. NRT has not been associated with any increase in cardiac events (heart attack, stroke). People who smoke are already
Yes. If you are not ready to quit but want to cut down on how much you smoke, NRT (gum, patch, lozenge or inhaler) can
at a high risk of heart disease; therefore, the best way to reduce risk of heart disease is to quit smoking completely.
be used to reduce the amount you smoke. NRT gum has been approved for use over a 1 year period to reduce smoking in
What if I already have heart disease?
If you have heart disease, it is much more dangerous to continue smoking than to use NRT. NRT can be safely used
Please consult your doctor or health care practitioner
as a quit smoking medication for people with stable heart conditions. Always check with your doctor before using any
medications; this includes NRT, prescription or over the counter drugs. Other stop smoking medications such as
Bupropion or Varenicline can also be used in such situations.
Smokers’ Helpline has trained quit specialists who can help you quit smoking. For free and conﬁdential help, cal
1-877-513-5333 or visit smokershelpline.ca.
Adapted with permission from CAMH, TEACH ™ Myths and Facts of Nicotine Replacement erapies and the Ontario Medical
Association position paper Rethinking Stop-Smoking Medications: treatment Myths and Medical Realities.
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