Nicotine patch use

Picture of nicotine patch use

A nicotine patch sticks to your skin and slowly releases nicotine into your bloodstream. Many kits come with different-sized patches that vary in nicotine strength. For the first few weeks, use a large patch. Then use medium-sized patches for the next few weeks, and use the smallest patches—which contain the least nicotine—during the last few weeks. Replace the patch daily. Choose a clean, hairless place on the skin between the neck and the waist, such as the upper arm, the shoulder, or the back. To help avoid skin irritation, do not apply the patch to the same place every time.

By using the patch, you can taper off your smoking or your use of spit tobacco. The patch can help relieve your withdrawal symptoms. And after about 8 to 10 weeks, you stop using the patch completely.

Last Updated: July 22, 2009

Author: Bets Davis, MFA

Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & John Hughes, MD - Psychiatry

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