The Nicotrol® Inhaler is a medication physicians prescribe to people who are trying to quit smoking.  The inhaler contains an alternate source of nicotine that helps when you are trying to quit smoking, since the body can go through withdrawal symptoms with a sudden drop in the nicotine levels.  These symptoms include:

  • nervousness
  • irritability
  • anxiety
  • dizziness
  • restlessness
  • weight gain
  • problems concentrating
  • fatigue
  • muscle aches
  • headaches
  • severe craving for tobacco

The Nicotrol® Inhaler helps prevent the symptoms and feeds the hand to mouth craving by fooling your brain into thinking it is smoking a cigarette.  For this system to work, you truly have to want to quit smoking, and to avoid nicotine poisoning, you cannot smoke cigarettes while using the inhaler.

Nicotrol® Inhaler is a two piece system consisting of the nicotine cartridge, that delivers 4mg of nicotine, and a white mouthpiece that somewhat resembles a cigarette.  The cartridge rests inside the white mouthpiece.  You "puff" on the mouthpiece like you would a cigarette, inhaling the nicotine.  This is a smokeless and odorless product.  The person using it could curve a nicotine craving without disturbing anyone around them, for example, I was in a restaurant while using this product and had a strong urge for a cigarette, and after a couple puffs on the inhaler the urge was gone.

Clinical Trials

The effectiveness of the Nicotrol® Inhaler to help patients stop smoking was proven in two double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials that used 445 healthy patients.  In both studies patients were given a minimum of four nicotine cartridges and a maximum dose of 20 cartridges per day.  The study lasted three months.  However, the patients were permitted to use the product up to six months if they chose to.  The percentage of people who quit smoking after using the inhaler for two weeks was a quit rate of around 40%.  Patients who used the inhaler for more than six weeks had a quit ratio between 45-50%.  A placebo was given to half of the patients and after six weeks the percentage of people who quit smoking was 10%.  The patients who used the inhaler did not have the major nicotine withdrawal symptom of having the urge to smoke.  However, 90% of the patients who used the placebo had the urge to smoke.


Before beginning the use of the Nicotrol® Inhaler, you should discuss with your physician any health problems you may have such as:

Your physician may want to choose an alternate form of nicotine treatment if you suffer from any of the health problems listed above.

Side Effects

As with any medication, side effects cannot be predicted.  Since everybody is different, some people may develop side effects and others may not.  This is why it is important that you disclose any health problems with your physician before starting this treatment so the physician can determine if it is safe for you to use the inhaler.  You may experience side effects such as:

Personal Experience

As a Nicotrol® Inhaler patient, I have had much luck with the system.  I use only one cartridge per day now and have been using it for about three weeks.  I completely stopped smoking the day before I began using the inhaler because having the mouthpiece to hold in my hand controls the hand to mouth habit that I've had for so long.  I was a terrible smoker, smoking up to three packs a day for about six years.  I am happy to report that I am well on my way to recovery and cessation of smoking cigarettes and have not experienced any side effects from the inhaler.

Source:  Pharmacia Consumer Healthcare. Peapack: , 2002.

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