LAST_UPDATETue, 15 May 2018 11am

Using 'NiQuitin Patch' to Quit Smoking

“It was difficult to stop smoking. I became lethargic and exhausted. After one month (of stopping from smoking), the urge to smoke became unbearable!


"My family kept their distance as they didn't like the odour sticking on their garments,” Hamzah (not his real name) related to Bernama on his 'addiction' to smoking.

Hamzah knows that smoking is hazardous to health - himself and the others close to him but unfortunately he cannot kick away the habit.



Tested Methods


Various ways had been introduced to help smokers kick the habit. Among them is the government's move to impose the higher price of cigarettes. The latest round of increase was made recently where a pack of 20 cigarette sticks (premium) went up by 70 sen. This made the price now at RM10 a pack.

Another popular method is chewing bubble gum or sucking mentholated lozenges. However many had admitted that this is only a temporary measure.

“I could stop for only six weeks the most. When I smelled the tobacco puff at public places, then the urge became unbearable.

"I need only a puff and the urge to smoke overwhelms even the advice given by family members and friends on the ills of smoking," said another smoker Mohd Afizi Aziz.



Alternative Methods


There are several pharmaceutical companies that have introduced medications and 'plasters' that can gradually reduce the smoker's urge to have a puff. There is a also type of 'spray' that can be squirted under the tongue to stop the urge for tobacco as the smoke emitted from the cigarettes would smell 'sweet' for the hardcore smokers.

Another option to reduce the craving for the nicotine found in tobacco is by using a type of patch. This 'NiQuitin patch' can effectively reduces the urge for tobacco as it only takes five minutes for the urge to dissipate.



Various Doses


The patch is produced by Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK). It comes in the form of three packs with different doses - seven, 14 and 21 mg. A pack of seven sticks sells no more than RM75. The patch is suitable to be plastered on body areas that are hairless or that which have minimal hairs.

“The patch should be pasted on different places on each occasion including on the back and on buttocks for the skin cells to re-grow. This could also prevent discomfort and other forms of irritation,” said Prof Madya Dr Mohamad Haniki Nik Mohamad, the head of Malaysian Pharmaceutical Academy.

Dr Haniki is also the secretary for the Malaysian health professionals against tobacco group (IMPACT). He said:"Each treatment lasts three months and the use of the patch should not exceed six months. The three-stage treatment takes 12 weeks before producing the desired outcome”.

The NiQuitin patch works in three phases. For the first six weeks the patch used is that of 21mg dosage. This followed by the 14mg dosage in the next two weeks. The patch with 7mg dose is used in the final two weeks. The patch is worn round-the-clock.



Lozenges Version


NiQuitin also comes in the form of lozenges. The lozenges are in two and four mg packs at the price of RM52.80 and RM69.60 for each pack respectively. There are 48 lozenges in a pack. The lozenges are flavorless and sugar-free hence are suitable for diabetics. However, the lozenges contain a small amount of nicotine and give some 'relief' to those who tried to quit smoking earlier.

Hardcore smokers are advised to take a 4mg lozenge every one to two hours for four weeks. It becomes one lozenge for two to four hours in the next three weeks. With the NiQuitin patch the cost is some RM750 to help smokers kick the habit.  With the lozenges, the costs range from RM634 to RM835 (for 10-12 weeks).

- Bernama


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