Newest Review: ... I smoked about 10 a day on average so started on stage 2 which is using 15mg patches. I never made it to the third stage which is a very lo... more
Stick You %!$£! Thing!
Member Name: blackrose_
Advantages: Cheaper than some other brands
Disadvantages: Don't stick, irritated my skin, didn't feel they were helping at all.
My latest attempt to quit smoking has not gone entirely to plan, and whilst I readily admit that during the school holidays on a long weekend when there was lots of alcohol doing the rounds was a pretty pants time to try to stop, I would also have to lay some of the blame at the door of these patches for my less than successful attempt!
Myself and my partner purchased these together after a fair amount of umming and ahing over the various Nicotine Replacement Therapies available in our local supermarket. Having already tried to quit before, we were familiar with patches (a different brand of patches helped us quit for 6 months last year before succumbing to the evil weed again!), so felt that given the relative success of last time we would like to give patches another go.
Having made that decision, we decided on these particular ones partly because it was a brand name we recognised and had some faith in, but also because the idea of a clear (and hopefully un-noticeable) patch appealed to us...there is nothing worse than, as a trying to quit smoker, having a well-meaning someone point out your patch and make a comment along the lines of how its great you are giving up..the last thing you are trying to think about is tobacco in any shape or form and people highlighting the patch makes you do just that!
Our decision to choose these was also influenced by the fact that they were several pounds cheaper than another well known brand of NRT, and after examining the labels of both, I couldn't find any reason other than name branding to account for this, as both brands had the same amount of nicotine etc in them and the ingredients lists looked virtually identical.
As previous 20-ish a day smokers, we went for the step 1 patches, which contain 21mg of nicotine per patch. It recommends on the pack that anyone who smokes more than 10 cigarettes a day start with these for the first 6 weeks of quitting. I presume it means full strength cigarettes by this, not "lights", but that isn't really made explicit on the pack so is guesswork on my part! There are some contra-indications on the pack which state that people with serious liver or kidney disease, uncontrolled overactive thyroid gland or phaeochromocytoma or who are pregnant or breast feeding should consult a healthcare professional before use. We were none of these so went ahead and purchased a 7-day pack each and set off, hopeful and full of determination!
The first stumbling block for me came when, as per the detailed instruction leaflet contained in the pack, I attempted to put on a patch soon after waking the next day. A bit bleary eyed and craving a cigarette, I was a bit miffed to discover I had to hunt down a pair of scissors in order to open the wrapper on the patch. They are foil wrapped and this is thick foil. There is no way you are getting into these little devils without scissor-like assistance! With a big sigh I tracked down the scissors, managed to pass them on to the other half without the niocotine withdrawal shorting my brain enough to make me stab him with them, and extracted the patch from the wrapper.
Then came my second disappointment. The patch, whilst undeniably clear, is definitely not un-noticeable. It is made of pretty thick plastic, which is quite stiff, and very shiny. It also had the "lovely" effect of making the skin underneath it look a bit like very tightly prepacked chicken or something..not attractive in the slightest and it did draw the eye to the location of the patch! The skin underneath also went red, not violently so, but with the appearance of sunburn. And it itched. Oh my, did it itch. I did consider taking the patch off but contacted a nurse friend of mine who basically said everyone goes a bit red and has slightly irritated skin from NRT patches, and unless it got to the point of blisters I should stick with them. Having said that, I had much less noticeable reaction from the other brand I used last time. The itching wasn't constant but seemed to be worse if I bumped the patch on anything (even a sleeve), or got a bit warm. A constant reminder. Great.
Another let down with these patches was that they are an absolute swine to get to stick at the edges, and ultimately failed to do this. Despite myself and my partner trying several bodily locations for the following few days, we never managed to get a single patch to stick down properly. This might sound minor, but it is hugely irritating when it keeps catching on your clothes and thus reminding you yet again that you are wearing a patch, oh yes, because you are trying to give up smoking, yes smoking, that thing you are trying so flippin hard not to think about has popped into your head yet again...thanks patch!
On top of everything else, despite the fact that these patches were the same dosage we started off with last time we stopped, I really didn't feel that they were helping at all with the withdrawal, although this probably was because I was reminded of the patch and its associations by so many of its little flaws.
Whilst I suppose I probably should've realised that a clear plastic patch was going to be shiny, I certainly didn't expect it to be so stiff as to peel away at the edges when you move, wherever you attempt to stick it to! Top that with the skin irritation and general discomfort of the thing and I definitely would not recomment these particular patches to anyone.
Summary: Buy A Different Brand If You Want A Reliable Patch!
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