What is Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)?

NRT refers to stop smoking medications that include patches, gum, mouth spray, lozenges and inhalators.

These products are designed to replace some of the nicotine you would normally get from cigarettes to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms. To give you the best chance of success, it's important to understand how different types of NRT products work before you try them.

Patches are a long-acting NRT product, giving you a slow and steady amount of nicotine over time. The other products are fast-acting, which get the nicotine to you quickly, but do not last as long. Using both a patch and a fast-acting NRT product at the same time is known as combination therapy, and it can increase your chances of quitting for good. Chat to your doctor or pharmacist for more information on this approach.

You can learn more about NRT in the video below and exploring Quit Victoria's NRT video playlist.

Find out your level of
nicotine addiction

Take our quiz to find out how strong your addiction is. If you have a strong, physical addiction to nicotine, NRT could be a good option for you.

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8 - 10 High to very high dependence   

It sounds like you may have a high addiction to nicotine. But don’t worry, you can quit!

A great place to start for you is chatting to your doctor or pharmacist about stop smoking medications such as nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products. These help to reduce your symptoms of nicotine withdrawal so you can take back control.

It’s also important to know your triggers to smoke and learn ways to beat them. With some simple lifestyle changes, you can break your old habits and increase your chances of quitting for good. There are many different ways to get support, explore your options today.

5 - 7 Medium to high dependence 

Based on your answers, it seems likely you have an addiction to nicotine and might benefit from some extra help to fight withdrawal symptoms. If this sounds like you, chat to your doctor or pharmacist about stop smoking medications such as nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products. These can help to get you through any tough days at the beginning.

You will also need skills to beat the triggers you face day-to-day, like hanging out with certain friends or smoking for stress relief.

There are many different ways to get support, find out what’s right for you.

3 - 4  Low to medium dependence

It sounds like you have some level of addiction to nicotine. Start your quit attempt by learning about your triggers and ways to beat them. You can also make yourself a free, personalised Quit Plan to help keep yourself on track.

If you experience withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit, chat to your doctor or pharmacist about stop smoking medications such as nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products. These can help to get you through any tough days at the beginning.

0 - 2  Low dependence

You probably have a low addiction to nicotine, or might not be addicted to nicotine at all. The good news is, you are unlikely to experience some of the common withdrawal symptoms, like headaches and coughing.

But addiction has two other parts which can still make it feel tough to quit, and these are your habits and emotions. For example, if you usually smoke when you’re stressed, you might feel more irritable or anxious when quitting. Luckily these feelings only last a short time, and you can prepare for your triggers to make it easier to stay smoke-free for good. Try our step-by-step quit planner to set yourself up for success.

How do you know if NRT is for you?

When you quit smoking, you might experience withdrawal symptoms like anxiety, cravings, mood swings and irritability.

Doctor icon
GP or pharmacist
Chat with your GP or pharmacist for advice on NRT and how to use them. This is especially important if you have any existing health issues or would like to try combination therapy (two types of NRT at once).
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Double Quit Action
If NRT on its own isn’t enough to help you quit, consider Double Quit Action. This quit method combines stop smoking medication with behavioural support to improve your chances of quitting for good.
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Are you worried that NRT is too expensive?

It can be hard to make the switch from spending your ciggie money on boxes of patches that could make you feel uncomfortable in the short-term. However, with a prescription from a doctor or finding products on special, you can pay as little as $1-$1.50/day for certain products. This is similar to the average cost of a single cigarette. Have you calculated how much money you'll be rolling in once you quit for good?

Use the quit savings calculator
Remember: Stop smoking medications are most effective for physical addictions to smoking. Habits (e.g. smoking while drinking), as well as emotions (e.g. stress), are common triggers to smoke. You can plan strategies to combat these triggers.

Read advice from people who successfully quit smoking using the NRT method

My husband and I tried the patches and we have both quit. It was a financial thing after we sat down and worked out how much we were spending and it was a health thing as well. I had a horrible cough and since I have stopped, the cough has gone.
I used the nicotine spray, and had to put some good sleeping habits in place because I couldn't sleep when I quit.

I tried many ways to quit, I’ve tried patches, all the medications, the inhalers, cold turkey, this time I’ve gone patches and that’s working for me, yay!

I found the nicotine patches and inhaler worked for me.

I used nicotine patches and stayed away from friends who smoke for a while.

Nicotine inhaler and nicorette chewing gum were a good combo for me.

I did nicotine patches, gum and spray. They work differently so the mix was good.

I just used nicotine spray and will power.

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