Nicotine Patch Use

How a nicotine patch is used

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 smokeless tobacco. The patch can help relieve your withdrawal symptoms. And after about 8 to 10 weeks, you stop using the patch completely.

Current as of: July 4, 2019

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Brian O'Brien, MD, FRCPC - Internal Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
John R. Hughes, MD - Addiction Psychiatry
Michael F. Bierer, MD - Internal Medicine

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