Smoking Cessation

Smoking Cessation

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Smoking, the most common form of tobacco use, is part of a worldwide epidemic of tobacco use which is one of the biggest health threats the world has ever faced. Every year, more than 8 million people die of tobacco-related disease globally. 1

The cost of smoking

Most smokers are aware of the multitude of health risks, still, 1 in 5 people globally continue to smoke.2 The cost of smoking goes beyond our health – did you know that a smoker could spend more than R10 000 per year on cigarettes, and even more on lighters, air fresheners and other smoking-related products? We also often hear time is money. A pack-a-day smoker could spend up to 3 hours a day on smoking. 3,4,5  

Benefits of quitting

To quit smoking is the first step in reclaiming a healthier lifestyle. The effects of quitting can be seen very quickly. 6,7,8

  • After 20 minutes – your heart rate and blood pressure will be lower
  • After 2 days – the ability to smell and taste improves
  • After a month – your physical appearance improves, and the skin’s grey paleness disappears
  • 6 months after quitting, your overall quality of life will be better
    • you will feel better
    • you could perform better mentally
    • you will have more energy
    • you will sleep better
  • After 1 year – the risk of developing heart disease halves compared to a person that continues smoking.

Level of addiction 9,10

It is important to know your level of dependence on tobacco, as this helps to define what treatment options may be needed to successfully stop smoking. The level of dependence can be measured by answering 6 simple questions, and calculating the score based on the various answers.

Quitting options

  • In South Africa, 9 out of 10 smokers tried to quit at least once in a year.
  • Less than 1 in 10 of them used medicine to help them quit. 11
  • Quitting cold turkey without any treatment or other treatment support is very rarely successful in the long run. Withdrawal symptoms starts within 4-24 hours of quitting, peaks at day 3, and are overall worst in the first week – the time when most people relapse. The good news is that most withdrawal symptoms should subside within 3-4 weeks. 12, 13
  • The first week is the most critical time to keep to the quitting commitment – if you can abstain from smoking through the first week, you are 9 times more likely to still be abstinent after 1 year than a person who smoked during the first week. 14

The treatment options to help a person quit includes: 15

  • Counselling and supportive therapy – when provided with medication, it doubles the likelihood of successful quitting.
  • Nicotine replacement treatment, which helps to relieve the physical and psychological cravings during cessation
  • Prescription antidepressants or nicotine blockers.

Take the first step on your road to quitting, it will be one of the best things you will do for yourself and your loved ones. To quit smoking is hard, but not impossible. Nicorette wants to be part of your journey every step of the way by offering you both physical and mental support.

Nicotine replacement treatment relieves withdrawal symptoms and the craving to smoke experienced by smokers in the days and weeks following smoking cessation. Nicorette replaces the nicotine from a cigarette, while you taper the dose off gradually until you do not need it anymore. It has been proven that using nicotine replacement treatment increases the rate of successful quitting by 50 – 60 %. 16,17

Nicorette is available in various formats to suit every quitter’s needs

  • On-demand dosing formats such as gum to use when needed to control cravings
  • Discreet and convenient patches that provide a constant release of nicotine over 16 hours.

Each format also comes in different strengths to provide the level of craving relief based on your dependency level.

Nicorette is recommended as part of a 3-month (12 week) program and should be used as part of a cessation program supervised by a professional.  With a range of nicotine replacement options, our “My Quit plan” program gives you practical tips and tools to keep quitting and beat the cravings.

For more information on how to join the quitters, ask your healthcare professional about the Nicorette

Medical References

  1. World Health Organization [Online] 26 July 2021. Accessed 14 Feb 2022. Available from
  2. Dawkins L. Why is it so hard to quit smoking? The Psychologist, 2013;26(5):332-335,
  3. Tadzimirwa GY, et al. Establishment And Evaluation Of A Smoking Cessation Clinic In South Africa [Abstract]. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2017;195:A7372.
  4. CIGARETTE IN SOUTH AFRICA, SOUTH AFRICA, Cost to Travel website [Online] Available from Accessed 12/10/2020.
  5. Prochaska JJ. Smoking cessation. Aug 2018. Available at Accessed 2020/04/28.
  6. Stewart AL, King AC, Killen JD, Ritter PL. Does smoking cessation improve health-related quality-of-life? Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 1995;17(4):331–338.
  7. ASH Stopping Smoking. The Benefits and aids to quitting. Available from Accessed 08/10/2020.
  8. Tobacco Free Initiative - Fact sheet about health benefits of smoking cessation. World Health Organization [Online]. Accessed 24/04/2020. Available from
  9. West R. ABC of smoking cessation Assessment of dependence and motivation to stop smoking. BMJ 2004;328:338-339.
  10. Fagerstrom Tolerance scale. Accessed 24 Apr 2022. Available from
  11. Tadzimirwa GY, Day C, Esmail A, et al. Challenges for dedicated smoking cessation services in developing countries. S Afr Med J 2019;109(6):431-436. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2019.v109i6.13631.
  12. McLaughlin I. Nicotine Withdrawal. Curr Top Behav Neurosci. 2015 ; 24: 99–123.
  13. Hughes JR et al. Shape of the relapse curve and long-term abstinence among untreated smokers. Addiction 2004;99:29–38.
  14. Tønnesen P et al. Higher dosage nicotine patches increase one-year smoking cessation rates: results from the European CEASE trial. Eur Resp J 1999;13:238-246
  15. Schellack N, Bronkhorst E. Smoking cessation. South African Family Practice 2015; 57(1):39-42.
  16. Aubin H-J. Luquiens A, Berlin I. Pharmacotherapy for smoking cessation: pharmacological principles and clinical practice. Br J Clin Pharmacol 2013;77(2):324-336.
  17. Hartmann-Boyce J, Chepkin SC, Ye W, Bullen C, Lancaster T. Nicotine replacement therapy versus control for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2018, Issue 5. Art. No.: CD000146.
  18. REF-00139 – Data on File.


Nicorette contains NICOTINE

S0 Nicorette Gum Freshfruit 2 mg: Each piece contains nicotine-resin complex 20 % 10,0 mg equivalent to 2 mg nicotine. Reg.No. A40/34/0565.

S0 Nicorette Gum Freshfruit 4 mg: Each piece contains nicotine-resin complex 20 % 20,0 mg equivalent to 4 mg nicotine. Reg.No. A40/34/0566.

S0 Nicorette Gum Freshmint 2 mg: Each piece contains nicotine-resin complex 20 % 10,0 mg equivalent to 2 mg nicotine. Reg.No. A40/34/0520.

S0  Nicorette Gum Freshmint 4 mg: Each piece contains nicotine-resin complex 20 % 20,0 mg equivalent to 4 mg nicotine. Reg.No. A40/34/0523.

S0 Nicorette Gum Icy White 2 mg: Each piece contains nicotine-resin complex 20 % 10,0 mg equivalent to 2 mg nicotine. Reg.No. A46/34/0164.

S0  Nicorette Gum Icy White 4 mg: Each piece contains nicotine-resin complex 20 % 20,0 mg equivalent to 4 mg nicotine. Reg.No. A46/34/0165.

S1 Nicorette Transdermal Patch 10 mg: Each patch contains nicotine equivalent to 1.75 mg per 1.0 cm2 Content of nicotine per patch 15,75. Reg. No. 45/32.16/0952.

S1 NicoretteTransdermal Patch 15 mg: Each patch contains nicotine equivalent to 1.75 mg per 1,0 cm2 Content of nicotine per patch 23,62 mg. Reg. No. 45/32.16/0953.

S1 Nicorette Transdermal Patch 25 mg: Each patch contains nicotine equivalent to 1.75 mg per 1,0 cm2 Content of nicotine per patch 39,37 mg. Reg. No. 45/32.16/0954.

For full prescribing information, refer to Professional Information approved by the Medicines Regulatory Authority.


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