Product Type: NiQuitin health products
Newest Review: ... has worked. The Niquitin Minis come in a pack of 3 and you can buy them at 2 different strengths depending on how much you smoke. The 4mg... more
Member Name: Stephiej
Date: 02/05/11, updated on 02/05/11 (1176 review reads)
Advantages: They really do stop craving in their tracks!
Disadvantages: Possible minor side effects
I had been smoking for over 20 years, having started with the odd sneaky smoke by the running track at secondary school when I was 14. Throughout that time I made many half-hearted attempts to quit, usually lasting no more than a couple of weeks before I caved in and started smoking again. Last year, when I had my 35th birthday and realised I was on the downhill slope to 40, I became determined to stop for good, before I started to see the adverse effects on my health.
Being a realist, I recognised that I was not going to be able to give up by willpower alone. Having tried several methods of nicotine replacement therapy in my previous failed attempts I was reluctant to return to a method that I had not been successful with previously. After doing a bit of research I found Niquitin Minis, which are tiny white lozenges, that I felt would be easy and convenient to use, unobtrusive even in work.
Niquitin Minis come in 2 strengths, one containing 4mg of nicotine, and one containing 1.5mg of nicotine. They also come in Original, Mint and a new Cherry flavour. The minis are available in single packs, containing 20 mini lozenges, and triple packs, containing 60 mini lozenges. Available from most high street pharmacies as well as online from Amazon and similar sites, the price varies according to strength and the size of the pack, but you can expect to pay under £15.00 for a triple pack of 4mg Minis. They are produced by Glaxosmithkline, a familiar household name for over the counter painkillers, medications, toothpastes etc. The reverse of the packaging displays brief instructions for use, health warnings and a list of ingredients, and there is a leaflet with full instructions enclosed in the pack.
I mentioned the flavours, but don't be misled, these are certainly not lozenges anyone would want to use for pleasure. The taste is virtually undetectable, as the nicotine released in the mouth quickly overpowers any intended flavour with a strong almost burning sensation (think extra strong Fishermans Friends). For me, this was actually useful rather than unpleasant, as I felt that they were clearly doing their job.
I started with the stronger 4mg mini lozenges, but within 3 weeks I was using the lower strength 1.5mg mini lozenges. The idea is that the lozenges are not sucked, but placed in the mouth, either under the tongue or between the cheek and gum, to dissolve, so the nicotine can be absorbed quickly through the soft tissue in the mouth into the blood stream, and reduce the physical craving. I found these mini lozenges to be really effective, and for me they reduced my cravings within less than a minute of popping one in my mouth. The maximum number of Minis that should be used in a day is 15, and I found that 8 -10 per day were sufficient for me initially. I had previously smoked 20 - 25 per day, and I didn't ration my use of the Minis, but had one whenever I felt the need. Over a period of 8 weeks I gradually reduced both the strength and frequency of Minis, until after 10 weeks I found I was frequently going the whole day without having needed to use one.
They are not a magic wand and are certainly not going to give up for you, a significant amount of willpower and determination are still required, but they provided me with the additional support I needed and I don't think I would have managed to quit, at least not without falling out with several friends and family members, without them!
As with all medications, there are some adverse side effects that people may experience, and Minis are not recommended for anyone suffering from stomach problems. I personally experienced only minor temporary side effects, which were explained on the advice leaflet included in the pack, and in my opinion were a small inconvenience compared to the benefits. Although everyone will react differently, my experience of adverse effects included; a sore throat for the first few days, a sore tongue (probably my fault as I tend to play/fiddle with the lozenge with my tongue), and intermittent slight stomach upsets which disappeared after a week or two.
So they worked for me (I feel safe saying that now, 1 year since quitting!), but are there any negatives? I found the lids of the plastic tubes they are contained in to be extremely frustrating. They have a sort of 'child-proof' design, which requires you to push in a very stiff plastic lever, and keep it depressed, before flipping open the cap. This is a considerably more difficult design than the familiar 'push and squeeze' or 'line up the arrows' design of child-proof caps. I experienced a very sore thumb, and snapped several fingernails through opening these lids. Eventually I overcame this by decanting the mini lozenges into a different container. This was an inconvenience for me, but I would imagine it would be impossible for people with health problems such as arthritis that cause difficulties with manual dexterity.
Overall I found these Niquitin Minis met my needs, and were definitely an unobtrusive way of easing my cravings.
Summary: A helping hand to kick Nic into touch
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