The general phrase that encompasses a variety of methods that deliver nicotine to the body by means other than tobacco. The primary goal of these therapies is to remove the aspect of “cravings.” Cravings occur due to the addictive nature of nicotine; a drug found in tobacco. When nicotine levels in the smokers body fall below a certain threshold the smoker experiences these cravings for a cigarette because they associate smoking the cigarette with receiving nicotine. NRT provide the smoker an alternate way to receive nicotine so that they do not seek to consume it through smoking. NRT is commonly used in the process of helping someone quit smoking entirely. Various NRTs use a weening method that involves stepping down the nicotine content levels in stages as the smoker moves through the quitting process.
The most common example of such a NRT product is the nicotine patch. Instead of using tobacco a sticky patch containing nicotine is stuck to a persons skin (usually on the arm). Over time the nicotine from the patch is ingested through the skin. This process keeps the wearer’s nicotine levels above the threshold so they do not experience cravings. Other forms of NRT include nicotine gum, lozenges, electronic cigarettes, and inhalers.
Some debate occurs over the effectiveness of NRT. While no one disagrees with the fact that the concept of NRT works, some do feel that it has the ability to work TOO WELL. The fear is that the NRT product will be just as addictive as the tobacco, and although the user may no longer use tobacco – they may find themselves continuing use of the NRT product on an ongoing basis.
Cignature is working on its definitions pages to help spread the word of electronic cigarettes by making the terminology and culture easily accessible. To learn more of the electronic cigarette lingo check out our Definitions & Terminology Page here or access it from our homepage under the Resources heading. If you have any terms you find undefined and are curious about, feel free to ask about it in the comments below and we will add it to our list.