A nicotine addiction is difficult to cure, but the creation of new products, such as the Nicotrol Inhaler, offers options to those who wish to quit. The inhaler--which consists of a mouthpiece and nicotine cartridges--provides a substitute source of nicotine for smokers who are beginning to quit. The cartridge is placed into the mouthpiece and smoked like a cigarette. By slowly reducing nicotine intake, the Nicotrol Inhaler aims to prevent nicotine withdrawal symptoms, which include depression, weight gain, headaches and fatigue. There are pros and cons to using this type of product.
The main advantage of the Nicotrol Inhaler is related to how it distributes nicotine. Unlike cigarettes, the inhaler delivers most of its smoke into the membranes that line the mouth and throat, instead of directly into the lungs. Also, the nicotine from the inhaler is absorbed more slowly, with nicotine levels reaching their peak within 10 to 15 minutes after inhalation, according to Quit Smoking Support. A website dedicated to kicking the smoking habit, Quit Smoking Support suggests that each intake of smoke from the Nicotrol Inhaler contains 10 times less nicotine than that of a cigarette. Since the inhaler closely resembles a cigarette and delivers a sensation that is similar, it helps a smoker slowly wean himself off of nicotine.
The Nicotrol Inhaler comes with 42 nicotine cartridges and costs from £26 to £35 per package. Insurance providers, with the exception of those in Mexico and Texas, do not cover the cost of the inhaler. Accordingly, it can be costly, considering it may take several packages to break the nicotine addiction cycle. Also, since the inhaler so closely mimics a cigarette, it may not completely decrease the need to smoke. A smoker may begin to habitually use the inhaler instead of cigarettes. In this instance, the product has become a substitute rather than a cure.
The inhaler can cause serious side effects. The most common are throat irritation, heartburn, coughing and burning of oral membranes. Use of the Nicotrol Inhaler is not recommended for pregnant women, since it can cause the development of birth defects in a foetus. The inhaler may have adverse effects if mixed with other drugs. If you take medications like insulin or tofranil, you may not be able to use it. Also, if you have nasal or sinus problems, the inhaler can cause these conditions to become more severe.