The challenge of quitting smoking is not only limited to nicotine addiction. Instead, cigarettes offer a sense of companionship, and the ritual of smoking sometimes become a reflex action. Ex-smoker and people who are trying to quit frequently reach out for their phantom lighters or move their fingers their lips.
This is the appeal of nicotine inhalers, and why they are favoured by heavy smokers trying to quit. The repetitive action of inhaling nicotine from the inhaler is somewhat comforting. And unlike other forms of nicotine replacement therapy, you have full control over the frequency of inhalation and the amount of nicotine consumed.
Nicotine inhalers actually have a very rudimentary design. The device contains just two components - the plastic mouthpiece to inhale, and the replaceable nicotine cartridge. The nicotine vapours, meanwhile, are release every time the content is exposed to air during inhalation.
Each cartridge contains enough nicotine to mimic about twenty minutes' worth of inhalation. Users typically consume between 10 and twenty cartridges daily, depending on their level of nicotine addiction.
After a user becomes comfortable with the inhaler, they should then slowly reduce the frequency and length of inhalation. Ideally, the goal is to reduce the usage by a single cartridge every day. Of course, this is easier said than done. Nevertheless, nicotine inhalers are a great first step for heavy smokers. However, the long-term effectiveness is debateable. As such, inhalers should be complemented with other forms on nicotine replacement therapy to wean users off their addiction.
Anecdotal evidence suggests nicotine patches as the perfect treatment partner for inhalers. We cannot stress this enough though: do not use the inhaler if you are still smoking. You will merely overload your body with nicotine and run a very real risk of nicotine poisoning. In addition, weaning them off will become so much harder.
Also, throat and mouth irritation are common side effects when using nicotine inhalers.