The Best Nicotine Patch to Help Keep You From Withdrawal Symptoms: Top 5 Choices

If you’re trying to get rid of a smoking habit or addiction, NRT (Nicotine Replacement Therapy) is a great solution, and the most effective choice is the nicotine patch. By applying the patches on your skin, a measured dose of nicotine is absorbed into your body and, in turn, helps prevent those who are trying to quit from relapsing or having withdrawal symptoms.

But first, you need to know what NRTs entail.

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Nicotine Replacement Therapy Explained

As mentioned, NRT stands for Nicotine Replacement Therapy, which is a term for an anti-smoking treatment method. It helps reduce withdrawal feelings by providing your body with a low, safe level of nicotine without being in company with other poisonous chemicals found in cigarettes.

By allowing your body to absorb the nicotine, your withdrawal symptoms will be significantly reduced, such as irritation, nausea, headaches, bad moods, or cravings for nicotine and the urge to smoke. You can either use NRT to aid with your smoking cessation, thus stop smoking entirely or to cut down this deadly habit by a lot.

NRT products are available at a pharmacy or some shops. It comes in a wide variety of forms that require different applications. Ultimately the choice is yours to choose which of them that’s most suitable for you. You may consult your physician or seek a correct prescription beforehand.

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Who Can Use NRT?

NRT can be a suitable treatment used by most people as long as they determine to get rid of this addiction for good, including:

  • Adults and children over 12 years of age - For lozenges, if you’re younger than 18 you need to get medical advice beforehand.
  • Pregnant women - Depending on the cases, your doctor might suggest NRT to help you quit smoking.
  • Breastfeeding women - Similarly, your doctor can also advise you on proceeding with safety.

Generally, cases might vary, so it’s always the best idea to speak to a pharmacist or doctor for a possible prescription before going with NRT. Also, make sure to read the package, medicine information, or leaflet thoroughly to check if it’s suitable for you.

If you have an existing condition that might interfere with NRT, you should search for medical services and seek care or advice first thing first.

Reviews of The 5 Best Nicotine Patches

NicoDerm CQ Step 1 Nicotine Patches - Recommended For Heavy Smokers

Few top NicoDerm when it comes to nicotine patches. Their products have consistently and comfortably been mentioned among the most effective nicotine patches available and for good reasons.

First thing first, let’s talk about these patches’ targets. 

They are designed to assist people without controlling smoking addiction. If you smoke more than ten cigarettes a day and desperately need smoking cessation immediately, this is the right product for you. Each package contains 14 transparent patches that last two weeks so that you can try them out at the start of your program and track results.

The next important thing to talk about this Nicoderm patch is, of course, the dosage.

It is made with Extended Release SmartControl Technology to deliver a steady therapeutic nicotine flow, which can happen even when you sleep. So rest assured that not only will you be safe with the products, but you will also improve your progress at all times.

Last but not least, these Nicoderm patches are very easy to apply and transparent enough that they’re almost unnoticeable on your body. However, they’re very sticky once applied, so you should use them on a hairless portion of your skin, although this can be a good thing.

Overall, it’s a very good smoking suppressant and very well warrants its price.

Pros
  • Good for heavy smokers
  • Transparent patches
  • Delivers steady nicotine
  • Each package lasts two weeks
  • FDA-approved as a stop smoking aid
Cons
  • Can be too sticky

Habitrol Step 2 Patches - Must-Have For Moderate Smokers

Habitrol - one of if not the best nicotine patch brands available - produces three patches with different nicotine dose levels (Step 1, 2, and 3) but the Step 2 patches from them are arguably the most useful among them.

You can use this patch in accordance with another Step 1 patch from other brands and not just Habitrol since it follows the correct standard dosage of 14 mg nicotine per hour. You should use this if you smoke less than ten cigarettes a day, or if you’ve been able to reduce your smoking to that same amount.

What’s more beneficial about this patch is that each package has 28 patches, and for the price, that is good. You will be able to gradually and slowly track your results, and you can stop anytime and move on to a Step 3 patch if you feel like you’ve gotten over the hump.

On the contrary to the patches from NicoDerm, a common complaint with these products is that they don’t stay on your skin very well. If this problem comes to pass, you will have to put more force into applying or thoroughly shaving the part of the skin that you want to use the patches on.

Pros
  • Great for moderate smokers
  • 28 patches per package
  • Good value
Cons
  • Doesn’t stick well

Habitrol Nicotine Transdermal System Patch - Best Complete Bundle

Similar to the Habitrol patches we mentioned, these patches are also reserved for moderate smokers. Still, they come with a behavior support program and a self-help guide to start you off on your progress more conveniently and faster.

The patches are a part of Habitrol’s 8-week program, designed to maximize the effectiveness of the patches while minimizing your cravings further. And with the guide, you will be able to work slowly through it without fail, thereby improving your chances of quitting steadily and gradually.

Another special feature that we find not mentioning it would be remiss is the single Habitrol patch releases nicotine, with controlled amounts, through your skin for an entire day, so you don’t have to worry about applying a new piece during sleep.

Also, these patches are reserved for moderate smokers who have less than ten cigarettes a day and come in child-resistant pouches to protect your children from accidental harm.

But this one also has the same weakness as the products we mentioned from Habitrol: it doesn’t stay on very well. However, for the package and the patches’ efficiency, this can be a worthy purchase if you care for your health.

Pros
  • Complete bundle
  • Includes behavior support program with self-help guide
  • Child-resistant pouches
  • Good for moderate smokers
Cons
  • Doesn’t stick well

Rugby Clear Nicotine Transdermal System Patch - Best Value

Rugby Clear Nicotine Transdermal System Patch holds the crown as the greatest nicotine patches for the value. They are very effective for moderate smokers while at the same time, being very cheap.

This patch’s carved out a niche space for itself on the market and fulfilled it more than well.

If you’re trying to quit but are not sure yet of the effectiveness of a smoking aid such as the nicotine patch and wanting to test out something without spending much money, then this is the right product for you.

These patches are designed for use by those who have ten or fewer cigarettes daily, so you should note this. Similar to Habitrol's bundle, it also comes with its behavior support program and self-help guide to get you started on beating your habits.

Although they’re very good for the price, the patches have been reported to have a problem with not being strong enough. This might be due to it not sticking well to the skin.

Pros
  • Very affordable
  • Includes behavior support program and self-help guide
Cons
  • Doesn’t work as well as higher-priced patches

Equate Clear Nicotine Transdermal System Step 3 Patches - Recommended For Light Smokers

For those who follow a strict step-down program to relieve their smoking habit, these patches from Equate may put a nice finishing touch on your journey.

These patches are made for light smokers or those who have successfully reduced their habits significantly. By using them, as days pass by, you will find yourself able to quit smoking entirely and enjoy a nicotine-free life.

The dosage for these patches is 7 mg per 24 hours for each patch, low enough not to cause any side effects and high enough to provide adequate craving reliefs. Each package has 14 transparent patches that can last for two weeks. With Equate’s patches, you can quit for good in just mere weeks.

One caveat that you should care about is that these patches, however, can sometimes be itchy. But besides that, it works well and can stay stuck for a while.

Pros
  • Helps you become nicotine-free
  • Recommended for light smokers
  • Transparent patches
Cons
  • Can cause itches

Nicotine Patch 101

How to Use Nicotine Patch?

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If you’re seriously considering to stop smoking, then quitting smoking with patches is the best way to quit smoking. (Nicotine gum, nasal spray and other methods are by no means bad, but you cannot put them into use all day long, especially in public)

These patches look a lot like adhesive bandages and come in a variety of sizes and dosages. It can be applied with a simple push on the skin, preferably on a clean, dry, and hairless part of the body.

Each patch works via a controlled release mechanism: it lets your body absorb nicotine slowly and in turn reducing the effects of nicotine withdrawal. They come in three dosage strengths: 21, 14, and 7 mg, for heavy, moderate, and light smokers. They employ a step-down approach in that the user may go from high to lower dosages overtime.

There are possible side effects with using the products, such as redness of the skin, dizziness or itches, and more. You should seek services from your physician before using the nicotine patch, to see if your medical history will cause any possible problems with the patch.

It’s worth considering counseling and additional medication with the patch if you feel like you can’t use it alone.

What Are the Possible Side Effects?

The side effects of NRT (and nicotine patches, nasal spray as well as nicotine gum) are usually mild, but if you’re worried, you may consult your GP regardless. They include:

  • Skin irritation for patches
  • The spray might cause nose, throat, or eye irritation
  • Vivid dreams, sleeping difficulties
  • Upset stomach
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness

If you have an existing condition that might interfere with NRT, such as the gum, you should seek medical advice first thing first.

As you can see, the side effects differ from product to product. So it’s advisable that you choose the right type for you and your health first before deciding to use it.

Combinations With Other Strategies

NRT is an effective medicine, but it alone won’t completely prevent you from the urge to smoke. That’s why you should search for a combined strategy, such as a quit plan or program, or a stop smoking app on your smartphone.

That said, NRT can be crucial in easing you off from withdrawal symptoms and cravings, and when you’re cleared from them, you’re able to cut out the addiction more effectively.

One of the more prominent NRT is a nicotine patch, which services via being used on your skin and lets your body gradually and steadily absorb low levels of nicotine throughout the day.

Slowly but surely, the patch will assist you in weaning off the addiction and handling the reign of control to you, and you will be entirely nicotine-free in a matter of months, if not weeks. But for that, you need a good nicotine patch.

We’ve compiled a list of the 5 greatest nicotine patches out there for you to choose from.

Caution

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Although a nicotine patch or NRT is a lot safer than cigarettes, they still contain nicotine, so it’s not completely risk-free. But similar to other types of NRT such as the gum, when you use a nicotine patch, you need to be aware of the side effects and its target users.

Most people can use the patches over the age of 12, but if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, it’s recommended that you visit your doctor first before continuing to ensure safety for you as well as your baby. You should do similarly if you have a long-term health condition as well.

It’s advisable that you apply the patch to an area of skin with minimal or no hair. That area of skin should be clean and dry beforehand. Once it’s stuck to your skin, firmly press it down to ensure that it sticks and is secure. If you find that it falls off or becomes loose while using, simply replace it with another patch and reset the 24-hour time cycle (for the new patch).

Since the patches work via applying on your skin, people with existing skin conditions might be uncomfortable using them, or they might exacerbate symptoms further. Additionally, if you’re allergic to adhesive tapes, you should choose other forms of NRT instead.

Other effects can happen to others, including itching or skin redness, headaches, nausea, and increased blood pressure or heart rate. Vivid dreams can also happen, although this is rarer

The symptoms are mild, but if they appear to be worsening, stop using immediately, and seek additional advice or a correct prescription from a health professional.

Conclusion

For those who have a smoking addiction, it seems that there isn't any way out of it. But there are, indeed, as long as you have some help. And in this case, it comes in the form of the nicotine patch.

We’ve listed five of the best nicotine patches for you to consider, with strengths and benefits for each of them. The one that we choose as the best nicotine patch recommended for heavy smokers is NicoDerm CQ Step 1 Nicotine Patches.

It delivers steady nicotine, and each package can last up to two weeks.

NicoDerm CQ Step 1 Nicotine Patches to Quit Smoking - Stop Smoking Aid, 14 Count*
  • One package of 14 NicoDerm CQ Step 1 Nicotine Patches to Quit Smoking - Stop Smoking Aid
  • Smoking cessation products that are a low-maintenance way to help prevent the urge to smoke
  • Quit smoking patches that relieve cigarette cravings and other nicotine withdrawal symptoms
  • With Extended Release SmartControl Technology, these stop smoking aids deliver a steady flow of therapeutic nicotine all day long
  • Start with these Step 1 21 mg nicotine patches if you smoke more than 10 cigarettes a day

We hope that with the additional information, you're able to reach a correct, suitable purchasing decision that you search for and progress quickly on your journey of kicking the smoking habit.

Remember, smoking cessation is never a challenge as long as you have the power of will (and patches, of course!)

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