What Method of Quitting Works Best?

There is no right way to quit smoking. A method of quitting that worked for someone else may not work for you. What works best really depends on you.  There are a lot of methods out there to help you quit. Decide which method is best for you, easiest to use or follow, and one that you can stick with―basically, what feels right for you. Seeking the help of a tobacco treatment specialist, along with another aid such as a patch, gum, or medicine, makes it even more likely you will be successful.

Knowing why you smoke or use tobacco can help you decide the best way for you to quit. See a list of nicotine replacement therapies plus their pros and cons.

Which Nicotine Replacement Therapy Should You Use?

Type of Therapy Pros Cons Availbility
Combination Nicotine Replacement Therapy―usually patch used with gum/lozenge

More effective than just one method alone.

Provides consistent and sustained nicotine levels with a booster by the gum or lozenge to handle out-of-control cravings.

May increase risk of nicotine toxicity (poisoning). More expensive than using just one method.

Over the countert
Nicotine Patch. Patch worn on the skin in any area of the body between the shoulder and hip. Delivers nicotine through the skin.

Easy to use.

Only need to use once a day.

Gives steady and sustained level of nicotine.

Very few side effects.

Nicotine delivery is slow.

May give slight skin irritation or rash.

Over the counter
Nicotine Gum. Small square of gum that is chewed briefly, then parked between the cheek and gum. Nicotine is absorbed through the lining of the mouth. It is NOT to be chewed all the time like regular gum.

Easy to use.

Faster delivery of nicotine than the patch.

About 25% higher dose than the lozenge.

May not be good for people with dental fixtures, problems, or TMJ (clicking, painful jaw when mouth opens).

Should not eat or drink 15 minutes before or during use.

Must be used often during the day to achieve therapeutic nicotine levels.

Over the counter
Nicotine Lozenge. Similar to a mint. Stays in mouth and delivers nicotine through the lining of the mouth while it dissolves (melts).

Easy to use.

Delivers dose fast.

Should not eat or drink 15 minutes before or during use.

Should not be chewed or swallowed.

Can cause upset stomach.

Over the counter

Nicotine Inhaler. Plastic cylinder containing a cartridge that delivers nicotine when puffed on―the puffing produces a nicotine vapor that is absorbed through the lining of the mouth.




Nicotine Nasal Spray. Delivers nicotine through the lining of the nose when sprayed directly into each nostril.



Bupropion/Chantix/nortriptylene/other prescribed medication that does NOT contain nicotine.

Often only used once a day.

Pill form

Many of these medications have unpleasant side effects and cannot be used if you are taking certain other medications or have certain medical conditions.


Substitutes for Smoking

  • Taking a walk
  • Working out
  • Calling a friend
  • Chewing cinnamon sticks. Cinnamon actually makes the taste of tobacco unpleasant
  • Eating carrots or celery sticks
  • Eating hard candy (especially cinnamon-flavored)
  • Doing a hobby that will keep your hands and mind busy and on the task
  • Drinking lots of water―water plays a major role in ridding the body of nicotine
  • Eating healthy foods
  • Meditation/relaxation
  • Visualizing a healthy, smoke-free you
  • Using the patch, gum, lozenge, or another type of nicotine replacement therapy
  • Going only to smoke-free places
  • Redecorating

We Can Help

Premier Community Health (PCH) offers free counseling to help you quit smoking. A certified tobacco cessation specialist provides counseling and support to help you stop smoking for good.

For more information about tobacco cessation counseling, please call PCH at (937) 227-9400.