This Version Posted: November 20, 2019

Nicotine is the ingredient in cigarettes that causes people to become addicted to smoking. When you smoke, the nicotine inhaled from a cigarette reaches your brain in seven to 10 seconds, making it extremely addictive.

Nicotine is not known to cause cancer, lung disease or heart disease. It is the more than 4,000 harmful chemicals found in cigarette smoke that cause those diseases. What is Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) NRT refers to the nicotine patch, gum, inhaler and lozenge. NRT has been approved by Health Canada as an effective medication for helping people to quit smoking as it helps to reduce nicotine withdrawal symptoms. NRT is safe for smokers. It provides a “clean” form of nicotine without the other dangerous chemicals found in cigarettes. 

There is very little risk of becoming addicted to NRT. It is unheard of with the patch, but some users of the gum have used it for years to stay off cigarettes. The nicotine from NRT is absorbed into your body much more slowly and in lower doses than from cigarettes. It does not contain the harmful chemicals that are in cigarettes. Health Canada has approved three types of medications for helping people quit smoking. If used properly, these medications can double to quadruple the quit rates.