Nicotine lozenges

Nicotine-containing lozenges as an over-the-counter aid to stop smoking are the newest form of NRT on the market. As with nicotine gum, the lozenge is available in 2 strengths: 2 mg and 4 mg. Smokers choose their dose based on how long after waking up they normally have their first cigarette.

The lozenge manufacturer recommends using it as part of a 12-week program. The recommended dose is 1 lozenge every 1 to 2 hours for 6 weeks, then 1 lozenge every 2 to 4 hours for weeks 7 to 9, and finally, 1 lozenge every 4 to 8 hours for weeks 10 to 12. The manufacturer also recommends the following:

* Stop all smoking when you begin to use the lozenge.
* Do not eat or drink for 15 minutes before using the lozenge. (Some drinks can reduce how well the lozenge works.)
* Suck on the lozenge until it is fully dissolved, about 20 to 30 minutes. Do not bite or chew it like a hard candy, and do not swallow it. The medicine is taken in through the tissues of the mouth.
* Do not use more than 5 lozenges in 6 hours, or more than 20 lozenges total per day.
* Stop using the lozenge after 12 weeks. If you still feel you need to use the lozenge, talk to your doctor.
* Do not use the lozenge if you keep smoking, chewing tobacco, using snuff, or use any other product containing nicotine (such as the nicotine patch or nicotine gum).

Possible side effects of the nicotine lozenge include:

* Trouble sleeping
* Nausea
* Hiccups
* Coughing
* Heartburn
* Headache
* Flatulence (gas)