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Nicotine Patches Vs Gum Vs Vaping


Time to read 6 min

Want to quit smoking but do not know which nicotine replacement delivery system is right for you? Read on for guidance.

Those that want to quit smoking has a growing range of options in Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) and nicotine delivery systems. Even before the world of vaping became 95% less harmful than smoking, there were other options available to those that wanted to pack in the cigarettes.

Two favourite methods of Nicotine Replacement Therapy are patches and gum. Both patches and gum are getting a run for their money by the vape industry. Let us do some research and see if we can deduce which nicotine delivery method is best for you.

What are Nicotine Patches?

Nicotine patches first hit the market in 1992 when they were available on prescription. Since then, they have traversed the barrier into the public domain due to multiple studies and scientific backing. Nicotine patches come in assorted styles and shapes but the method of delivery of nicotine is the same across the range.

To use a nicotine patch, users place it on their skin and go about their day. The patch slowly releases a controlled dose of nicotine that eases your cravings. The idea in the patch is that it takes away the underlying gnawing cravings so you only must worry about what to do with your hands.

Nicotine patches come in clear, which are less obvious and suit an evening gown. You can wear the patch on the underarm or inside of your thigh. They come in different strengths which match the level of nicotine you smoked throughout the day. If you are trying to quit smoking using nicotine patches, you use the 10 mg packets if you smoked less than 10 per day, and the 20 mg if you smoked less than 20 a day, and so on.

Nicotine patches, gum, and even vaping, are all complimentary. You can use all at once if you want to. It is worth mentioning that Nicotine patches come in overnight editions, 24 hour release packages, or short term use of less than 8 hours.

Nicotine Patches Pros

There are multiple pros to quitting smoking using nicotine patches. Here is our summary.

The Pros of Nicotine Patches Include:


  • Nicotine Patches ease the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal
  • Subtle and discreet when used under the arm or on the inner leg
  • Can last 8-24 hours per patch
  • Eases insomnia from cravings
  • Improves concentration
  • Will help you quit smoking if you keep it up

Nicotine Patches Cons

There are also cons to using nicotine patches to quit smoking. Here are some of the worst.

The Cons of Nicotine Patches Include:


  • They can make you feel queasy if you are using the wrong strength
  • They are still giving you exposure to nicotine
  • They do not combat the emotional connection to cigarettes
  • Patches do not give you anything to do with your hands
  • Nicotine patches do not hit the throat like a cigarette does

What is Nicotine Gum?

Nicotine gum was an original product of the Nicorette brand, who also make patches, inhalers, and other stopping smoking products. The inventors patented the gum in 1971, but it took a lot longer for it to appear on the market. While nicotine gum is a clever idea of delivering nicotine without the harmful chemicals contained in cigarettes, it has some serious downsides.

Nicotine gum has a distinctive taste. It tastes as if you were licking a cold smoked cigarette. They have introduced different flavours of gum, but the underlying taste is the same. It is a bitter alternative to the patches. Although studies show it helps users quit smoking, there could be an addictive component to Nicotine Gum use in some individuals.

Nicotine gum is a stop smoking aid that comes in different strengths. Those with a light addiction that smoke ten cigarettes or less should stick to the 2 mg gum. Those who smoked closer to 20 a day should opt for the 4 mg gum. If you smoked more than twenty cigarettes a day, use the gum and the patches in conjunction for best effects.

Nicotine Gum Pros

There are multiple pros to quitting smoking using nicotine patches. Here is the lowdown.

The Pros of Nicotine Gum Include:


  • Nicotine gum eases the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal
  • You can use a piece any time you feel cravings
  • There are different strengths of gum
  • It comes in different flavours
  • It eases the cravings for cigarettes
  • It eases the other symptoms of withdrawal

Nicotine Gum Cons

Likewise, there are some cons to using nicotine gum to quit smoking in the UK. Here are a few.

The Cons of Nicotine Gum Include:


  • That horrendous taste that no flavour quite covers up
  • If you smoked more than 20 a day, you would have to stack gum and patches.
  • It does not hit your throat like cigarettes do
  • It does not take away having nothing to do with your hands
  • Nicotine gum is addictive in itself

What is Vaping?

Vaping involves using a vape device, also known as an e-cigarette, to breathe in less harmful steam vapours. The vape device produces the vapours by heating specially formulated vape juices, which have two or three ingredients as opposed to the 50+ ingredients in cigarettes. Here you can find a beginner’s guide to E-liquids, should you wish to learn more about their contents.

Vaping devices are fully rechargeable. They do not contain any waste materials, although the vape juices are size limited thanks to UK legislation. The vaping bottles are plastic, but overall, vaping creates less waste than cigarettes, patches, or gum. Liquids come in all different flavours, including candy floss, tobacco, or fruits.

Vaping Pros

There are plenty of pros to using vaping to quit smoking, here are our favourites.

The Pros of Vaping Include:

  • It hits your throat like a cigarette would
  • It gives you nicotine without the chemicals of smoking
  • It gives you something to do with your hands
  • Vaping tends to the emotional connection to smoking
  • It eases the withdrawal symptoms
  • It eases cravings
  • It can replace smoking altogether

Vaping Cons

There are a few reasons that you might prefer not to vape to quit smoking. Some of these are as follows.

The Cons of Vaping Include:

  • Vaping can be too like smoking for some
  • You need to learn how to maintain your advice
  • It is still a nicotine delivery system, and nicotine is addictive.

What’s Best for Quitting Smoking for You?

The type of nicotine replacement or delivery system that suits you best will be the one that sticks and helps you quit for good. Do not be afraid to try each method to find out if it suits you. It could even be that a combination of patches, gum, and vaping, is what makes you quit smoking.

We will leave you with the following study. Vaping has been so successful at helping customers quit smoking that the NHS are using vape devices in trials to help wean smokers off cigarettes. The participants were given NRT or vape devices to help them quit smoking. Those that claimed abstinence after 12 months were given carbon monoxide testing to ensure they were being truthful. The results found that the 1 year quit rate of the NRT group was 9.9%, while the 1 year quit rate of vaping devices was 18.0%.

We therefore theorise that further studies and tests will soon see the change in the market perception of the product which nicotine patches went through back in the nineties. Initially, patches and gum were prescription. They gradually moved over the counter. For vaping devices, what started as a pleasurable over the counter activity is making its way into the world of prescription medications.

Want to Find Out More About Vaping?

While vaping obviously comes out on top of all other NRT options, there is still a lot to learn for the average ex-smoker. Check Out These 5 Informational Facts About Vaping if you want to learn more.