Twelve out of 56 patients of the Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) have successfully quit smoking, the Vices Regulation Unit (VRU) said.
“We already have actual testaments from successful quitters,” VRU head Dr. Ashley Lopez said during the recent I-Speak media forum.
NRT is a therapy provided for heavy smokers who can’t quit smoking even if they want to. Patients should undergo counseling and be physically assessed into what category should they be labeled (mild, moderate, high). After the assessment they will be recommended to take these nicotine pastilles to aid them with their smoking issues.
Lopez said that most of the 56 clients are labeled moderate to high cigarette dependents
“To those who have difficulties in quitting cigarettes, they can take this opportunity to go to the nearest health centers or to the VRU offices to avail this medical intervention,” the VRU chief said.
The doctor said NRT can help heavy smokers change their habit by taking the nicotine pastille candies instead of cigarettes.
“In this way, if these smokers have this strong urge to smoke, they can take these candies instead of smoking cigarettes or vapes,” he said, adding that these candies should not be chewed or swallowed immediately but to let it melt in the tongue.
He said all services and the pastille candies are free for the clients.
According to Lopez, smoking is a medical condition that needs medical provisions and interventions.
“When you are a heavy smoker, it is not easy to just easily quit. They need medical interventions,” he said. “We cannot force anyone to quit smoking, those who are willing to stop then we can help you.”
The process will only be the counseling and the therapy, which will be the prescription of these medical pastilles.
Patients will undergo therapy for at least 12 weeks. Minor effects that few of these patients experience include being bloated, burping, and dizziness.
Maximum of nine pastilles a day is advised around 1-2 hours after taking one pastille. But Lopez said that “it’s not all the way up to the three months.”
He said they can adjust the prescription depending on the condition.
The VRU has strongly urged heavy smokers to seek therapy and be medicated immediately, as smoking has never been good to one’s health.