Last updated: August 11, 2021

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Welcome to our big nicotine patch test 2021. Here we present all the nicotine patches we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the internet.

With this, we would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best nicotine patch for you. You can also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should be aware of when buying nicotine patches.




Summary

  • A nicotine patch is a patch containing nicotine that delivers the active ingredient to the body through the skin. They are used especially in cases of high smoking addiction.
  • The unique feature with nicotine patches is that they deliver nicotine to the body while the addictive potential is virtually non-existent.
  • Moreover, they are available in different dosages. They are perfectly legal to buy and are available in many shops and supermarkets due to the fact that they are prescription-free.

The Best Nicotine Patch: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a nicotine patch

Before you start looking for the right product, you should know all the important information about nicotine patches. I have summarised it for you below.

What is a nicotine patch?

A nicotine patch is simply a patch that can be applied to the skin like any other patch. The special feature is the substance nicotine, which is absorbed by the skin cells on contact with the skin and then distributed in the body via the bloodstream.

The patch is considered a nicotine replacement product to help smokers overcome their addiction.

Since nicotine is generally considered to be the health substance in cigarettes, the question now arises as to how and why the substance is used to fight smoking addiction.

The answer lies in the additives that accompany nicotine in cigarettes. In combination, these have been shown to cause serious damage to health.

Nicotine alone is not always the cause of health problems. There are some additives in cigarettes. (Image source: unsplash.com / Jessica Alves)

However, nicotine alone is not responsible for addiction. Therefore, substitutes such as nicotine patches are used to supply the body with the substance without harmful additives.

The result is a reduced craving for cigarette consumption, so that the addiction can be fought at the same time via a healthier path.

Time Effect
20 minutes Blood pressure drops and limb temperature returns to normal.
8 hours The toxic carbon monoxide is exhaled and the smell of smoke disappears from the breath.
24 hours Heart attack risk decreases.
2 days The sense of taste and smell returns.
3 days Breathing becomes easier.
3 months Blood circulation improves steadily and lung capacity is increased by 30%.
9 months Significantly less smoker's cough, shortness of breath or infections. Exercise capacity increases, as does lung function.
1 year Risk of heart disease is only half that of a smoker.
2 years risk of cardiovascular disease is comparable to non-smokers.
5 years risk of stroke similar to non-smokers.
10 years risk of lung cancer is only half that of smokers. Risk of other cancers is significantly reduced.
15 years Risk of heart attack and stroke is similar to that of a non-smoker.
20 years Risk of lung cancer is as high as for a non-smoker.

What are the chances of success with nicotine patches?

Nicotine patches continuously deliver the substance to the body over a 24-hour period, so that there is a reduced craving throughout. In addition, they make it possible to stop years of behavioural patterns, such as constantly reaching for cigarettes, and thus to specifically give up.

According to some studies, nicotine substitution, i.e. the use of nicotine replacement products, increases the chance of success by up to 300%. Ultimately, the chance of success depends on several factors, such as the strength of the addiction, as well as the active combating of typical behaviours and one's own will. Nicotine patches are therefore an effective support.

Tip Description
Set a date for your first nicotine-free day choose a fixed date on which you want to be without a cigarette for the first time. Don't put this day off for too long. You should start in 14 days at the most.
Get rid of everything that reminds you of smoking remove everything that reminds you of smoking. Lighters, ashtrays, etc
Distract yourself find new activities that distract you from smoking.
Sport makes you happy get moving! Exercise releases happy hormones, perks you up, distracts you and makes you feel good about your body. It is also a good distraction.
Withdrawal symptoms are ok See the importance of withdrawal symptoms in a positive light! Your body is signalling to you that it is well on its way to recovering from the stresses of smoking and cleansing itself. The symptoms should stop after a short time.

How are nicotine patches used?

In most cases, the patch is applied directly in the morning to a spot on the skin that is as clean, hairless and dry as possible. In addition, the spot is located between the neck and the waist. Popular places include the upper arm and the chest.

It is important to always use a different spot when you use it again, otherwise skin irritation will result. If the patch is already applied, it should be used to its fullest extent, depending on the maximum duration, which is usually 16 - 24 hours. Premature removal is therefore not recommended.

The substance itself takes about 30 - 60 minutes to enter the bloodstream in effective amounts.

What is the recommended duration and dosage of a nicotine patch?

The optimal duration of use is highly dependent on cigarette consumption, or the intensity of the addiction. To get the most accurate answer, consulting a doctor is the best choice. In terms of dosage, experts disagree on both the exact dosage and the time period.

The following information concerns the 24-hour patch. The dosage varies depending on the intensity of the addiction. For example, with a daily consumption of more than ten cigarettes, it is recommended to use a patch with a dosage of 52.5 mg in the first stage (two weeks), followed by the second stage of 35 mg (one w.) and finally the third stage of 14 mg (two w.).

If the user consumes less than ten cigarettes a day, a dosage of 35 mg is recommended for a period of six weeks. The second and final stage is 14 mg for a fortnight. Strictly speaking, these are only guidelines for the average smoker in the respective category.

The optimal amount of nicotine may be slightly different for each person, so consulting a professional or doctor is the best solution.

Do nicotine patches have side effects?

Nicotine patches are generally considered safe to use, so they do not require a prescription. However, there may be some minor unwanted side effects. It is not uncommon for skin irritation to occur in the area where the patch is applied.

This is especially true if the patch is used for 24 hours. In this case, it is therefore advisable to change the patch on the skin several times a day. Furthermore, experts warn against using nicotine patches in case of existing chronic skin diseases, such as neurodermatitis or herpes.

Other side effects such as increased heart rate or dizziness are also known. For young people, the use is therefore usually harmless. However, people of old age in particular have higher blood pressure or are more prone to headaches and dizziness.

Therefore, its use is only recommended if the person is in good health. In addition, there are always complaints of vivid dreams and insomnia when using a 24-hour patch. Headaches, muscle aches, nausea and vomiting are also often a result of the nicotine introduced into the body.

Can cigarettes and nicotine patches be used at the same time?

Using cigarettes and nicotine patches at the same time is generally an extremely bad idea, as the body receives nicotine from both. Thus, in addition to the harmful by-products of smoking, the body also receives nicotine from the patch, which can lead to serious consequences.

In extreme cases, the body can suffer from nicotine poisoning from too much. In addition, the already mentioned side effects of a 24-hour patch are more likely. Therefore, the general rule is; no more smoking is allowed at the start of cessation.

In addition, several studies show that success is significantly higher this way. Gradually reducing cigarette consumption during withdrawal is only a solution if you are a chain smoker and cannot control your cravings even with the help of the patches. (Image source: unsplash.com / Mathew MacQuarrie)

Decision: What types of nicotine patches are there and which one is right for you?

Basically, you can distinguish between five different types / kinds of nicotine patches:

  • High dose
  • Medium dose
  • Low dose
  • 24-hour patches
  • 16-hour patch

What are high dose nicotine patches and what are the advantages and disadvantages of high dose nicotine patches?

Extremely high dose nicotine patches are specifically designed for heavy smokers who smoke more than 20 cigarettes a day on average. For less intense smokers, too high a dose of nicotine is unnecessary or even harmful.

Advantages
  • Perfect for chain smokers as a first step
  • Noticeably lowers cravings
Disadvantages
  • Not recommended for the average smoker

What are medium-dose nicotine patches and what are the advantages and disadvantages of medium-dose nicotine patches?

Medium dose nicotine patches are perfect for a smoker who is addicted but still smokes under 20 cigarettes a day.

The dose is sufficient to curb the addiction and the nicotine content is not higher than really necessary. Here, too, opinions are divided on the exact amount.

Advantages
  • Suitable for a consumption of 10 - 20 cigarettes per day
  • noticeable effect even with intensive consumption
Disadvantages
  • Too insufficient effect for extreme smokers

What are low-dose nicotine patches and what are the advantages and disadvantages of low-dose nicotine patches?

Low-dose nicotine patches, such as 7 mg per day, are excellent as a last step in intense addiction. But this dose is also suitable for people with a low addiction factor who simply want to escape consumption.

Advantages
  • A low dose is sufficient for people with a low addiction factor
Disadvantages
  • Insufficient effect for moderate to heavy cigarette consumption

What are 24-hour patches and what are the advantages and disadvantages of low-dose 24-hour patches?

This is a nicotine patch that works for 24 hours. The nicotine is constantly supplied to the body over this period. Since it covers the entire day, it is an excellent choice especially for chain smokers.

Advantages
  • Effect lasts all day
Disadvantages
  • Possible side effects are more likely
  • questionable in combination with simultaneous smoking

What are 16-hour patches and what are the advantages and disadvantages of low-dose 16-hour patches?

Unlike the 24-hour patch, this nicotine patch only delivers the substance to the body over a 16-hour period. Since the addiction-curbing effect does not last the whole day, the 16-hour patch is not suitable for extreme cases of addiction.

Advantages
  • Suitable for moderate to low addiction
  • Possible side effects unlikely
Disadvantages
  • Not suitable for chain smokers

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate nicotine patches

In summary, these are:

  • Dose
  • Amount
  • Visibility

In the following, we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate nicotine patches. This will help you decide whether a particular nicotine patch is right for you or not.

Dose

Probably the most important question in finding the right product is the dose, as this is responsible for the effectiveness. Depending on how many cigarettes you smoke per day and how strong your cravings are will tell you which dose is right for you.

In case of significant dependence, patches with three different dosage levels are always mandatory. It does not matter whether it is a 16-hour or 24-hour patch. The first is recommended at 24.9 or 52.5 mg, the second at 16.6 or 35 mg, followed by the third at 8.3 or 14 mg. For a consumption of 10 - 20 cigarettes a day, experts recommend only two stages. In the first stage, 16.6, or 35 mg is the rule.

In the second and last stage, 8.3 or 14 mg are the norm. In contrast to chain smokers, some experts recommend keeping the phase with the lowest dose longer. For occasional smokers who, for example, smoke more often than usual on certain occasions, but at the same time do not want to become addicted, nicotine patches with a low dose are a good option.

These are used over a period of several weeks. In summary, chain smokers need nicotine patches in three different intensity dosages. For less substantial use, the two lower doses are used, while occasional smokers only need one product that has a low dose.

Quantity

The amount of nicotine patches varies from product to product. Since the cure lasts for several weeks despite daily use, the more the better. The quantity of products offered therefore ranges from 7 - 24 pieces. If you only take a small dose, the period is usually 3 - 4 weeks, so you should expect a monthly supply of about 30 patches. If you smoke more than ten cigarettes a day, the period is about 2 - 3 months. In any case, I strongly recommend a product with the largest possible content. I would therefore advise you not to buy packs of seven to ten nicotine patches, except if you want to use the patches for testing purposes.

Visibility

Most nicotine patches look like an ordinary patch and are therefore clearly visible. However, there are some products that are transparent. Especially in warm summer days with light clothing or in places that are visible most of the time, a conventional patch can contribute negatively to the overall appearance.

Facts worth knowing about nicotine patches

Nicotine patches can make smoking cessation noticeably easier, provided they are used correctly. According to studies, the probability of success is much higher with the help of nicotine patches. This reinforces the positive effect that nicotine replacement products have. Besides the patches, there are a number of alternatives that are also worth looking at.

What alternatives are there to the nicotine patch?

Besides the patch, there are a number of other ways to get a grip on smoking addiction. These include nicotine gum, for example. However, these are only available in conjunction with low dosages, so they are an option for occasional smokers.

Alternatively, you can use them in combination with a nicotine patch to increase the effect. This combination is particularly useful in the first few days. Find out more about nicotine gum here. Another option is the nicotine lozenge. Like the patch, this contains a high dose and is therefore an excellent choice for chain smokers. However, there is a serious difference to the patch variant; through oral intake, the entire dose is immediately delivered to the body, just as with smoking.

The nicotine inhaler has a similar effect to the tablets; the dose is absorbed immediately. The difference becomes apparent during use; the inhaler has the same movement pattern as a cigarette, so that old behaviours are continued. However, there are significantly fewer by-products. Another natural alternative is the substance CBD. This is a plant substance that is extracted from hemp and is known for its numerous healing effects.

Among other things, it is also used in medical circles. According to a study from the United Kingdom, CBD noticeably reduces the craving for cigarettes.

Nicotine patch or e-cigarette?

An interesting question that an increasing number of people have been asking themselves in recent years. Both nicotine patches and e-cigarettes are equally known as a solution to kick the smoking habit. However, the two differ not only in how they are taken, but also in their effects.

While e-cigarettes differ from conventional cigarettes in that neither tobacco is used nor the material is smoked by burning (harmful by-products), nicotine patches are simply ordinary patches that release a certain amount of nicotine through the skin into the bloodstream.

Thus, the patches have the advantage of completely eliminating old habits such as lighting and holding a cigarette. E-cigarettes, on the other hand, are almost identical to a normal cigarette in terms of handling and ensure, among other things, that certain behavioural patterns are retained.

Another difference is the ingestion of the substances. Nicotine replacement products only contain nicotine as a substance. E-cigarettes, on the other hand, are in possession of numerous side substances that additionally influence the body.

CBD, for example, is a popular substance used in e-cigarettes and vaporisers.

Image source: unsplash.com / Gabriel Côté

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