Nicotine Sprays 101: An In-depth Study of its Efficacy and Safety

Nicotine Sprays 101- An In-depth Study of its Efficacy and Safety - Quit With Nerd

The journey to quit smoking is a challenging one, fraught with numerous obstacles and setbacks. However, an array of products and methods are available today to assist individuals in their mission to live smoke-free lives.

One such product that has garnered attention for its unique approach is nicotine spray.

In this blog post, we will delve into the world of nicotine sprays, exploring their efficacy, safety, and how they can be utilized as a powerful tool in the fight against nicotine addiction.

Whether you’re a smoker looking for resources to quit, or a healthcare professional wanting to broaden your knowledge about smoking cessation aids, this guide will provide insightful, research-backed information.

Let’s dive in!

You might also be interested in: 6 Different Methods of Nicotine Replacement Therapy and How They Can Help

What is nicotine spray used for?

Nicotine spray works by delivering a controlled dose of nicotine directly to the bloodstream through the lining of the nose or mouth.

This rapid absorption provides swift relief from cravings, making it easier to manage withdrawal symptoms.

When nicotine binds to receptors in the brain, it releases dopamine – a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in reward and pleasure sensations.

By mimicking this effect, nicotine sprays can help reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms, making the cessation journey more manageable.

Also read: Nicotine Withdrawal: The True Symptoms of Quitting Smoking (TRUTH)

Is nicotine spray bad for you?

Nicotine spray is generally considered safe for most healthy adults and is much safer than smoking.

Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT), such as nicotine sprays, helps to reduce cravings and feelings of withdrawal by replacing some of the nicotine you would normally get from smoking.

It doesn’t contain the toxic and dangerous chemicals found in commercial tobacco products.

However, there are also potential side effects associated with its use. Those may include hiccups, throat and mouth irritation, headaches, nausea, indigestion, burning lips, dry mouth, and inflammation of the lining of the mouth.

Despite these potential side effects, a systematic review suggests that the benefits of NRT, including nicotine sprays, outweigh potential risks. A study concluded that nicotine sprays provide fast relief of craving and have clear potential as a treatment for smoking cessation.

The potential side effects of using nicotine sprays

While nicotine sprays can be effective tools in the fight against nicotine addiction, they are not without potential side effects. Some users may experience:

  1. Mouth and throat irritation: This is one of the most common side effects. The spray might cause a burning sensation, coughing, or dryness in your mouth or throat.
  2. Nausea and vomiting: Some people may feel sick or even vomit after using the spray.
  3. Headaches: Some users report experiencing headaches after using the product.
  4. Hiccups: This is a somewhat common side effect of nicotine sprays.
  5. Indigestion: Some people might experience stomach discomfort or heartburn.
  6. Nasal congestion: This might occur particularly with nicotine nasal sprays.
  7. Changes in taste or smell: Some users have reported experiencing changes in their sense of taste or smell.

It’s important to note that these side effects are usually temporary and should lessen as your body gets used to the spray.

However, if they persist or become severe, you should contact your healthcare provider immediately.

Also read: How Long Does it Takes to Detox from Nicotine?

Do nicotine sprays work?

Yes, nicotine sprays can be an effective tool to aid in smoking cessation. Studies have shown that nicotine mouth spray can deliver significantly higher 6, 24 and 52-week continuous abstinence rates than placebo.

Furthermore, nicotine nasal spray delivers nicotine much faster than the other NRTs, achieving peak plasma levels between 5 and 10 minutes after delivery, which may lead to a better cessation outcome.

However, while nicotine sprays can be effective, success can be influenced by a range of factors, including individual motivation and whether behavioral counseling is also used.

It’s always recommended to consult with a healthcare provider for personalized advice.

Is nicotine spray better than vaping?

Nicotine SprayVaping
EffectivenessStudies suggest that nicotine sprays are effective in helping people quit smoking.Some studies found vaping to be nearly twice as effective at helping people quit smoking compared to other NRTs.
Speed of ReliefNicotine sprays provide fast relief of craving.Vaping can deliver a high dose of nicotine quickly.
Side EffectsCan cause mouth and throat irritation, nausea, and headaches.Potential for lung damage and unknown long-term health impacts6. Also, the high nicotine content could potentially lead to increased addiction.
CostGenerally cheaper than vaping.Can be expensive due to the cost of the vaping device and the e-liquid.
AccessibilityWidely available at pharmacies and some supermarkets.Available online and at specialized vape shops.
Long-term ImpactConsidered safe for most healthy adults.The long-term health effects are still not fully understood.

While both nicotine sprays and vaping are methods of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) used to help people quit smoking, studies suggest that vaping may be more effective than other NRTs, including nicotine sprays.

A clinical trial in the UK found that vaping was nearly twice as effective as other NRTs, such as nicotine sprays, patches, and gum.

How many nicotine sprays per day?

The number of nicotine sprays used per day can depend on the specific product and the individual’s nicotine dependence. However, there are some general guidelines:

Nicorette QuickMistRecommended not to use more than 2 sprays at a time, 4 sprays per hour for 16 hours, or a total of 64 sprays per day
Nicotrol (Nicotine Nasal Spray)Usual dose is not more than 40 mg per day (40 sprays in each nostril). Your dose will be gradually reduced before stopping
Nicotine Mouth SpraysMany smokers use one to two sprays every 30–60 minutes; the recommended maximum dose is four sprays per hour, and 64 sprays per day

Remember, these are general guidelines, and the right dosage for you might be different. It’s important to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any type of nicotine replacement therapy.

The pros and cons of nicotine spray


  1. Effectiveness: Nicotine mouth spray can increase your chances of quitting smoking.
  2. Fast-acting: The nicotine spray delivers nicotine straight to the bloodstream via the nasal passageways or mouth, providing quick relief from cravings.
  3. Flexible Dosing: It allows for flexible dosing and can be used in response to stress or cravings.
  4. Ease of Use: Nicotine nasal spray is easy to use.


  1. Side Effects: Some common side effects include nose irritation, watering eyes, and cough. It usually takes several days to get used to these.
  2. Requires Regular Use: You have to remember to use it regularly for it to be effective.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the best nicotine spray brand?

NICORETTE® QuickMist appears to be a highly recommended brand for nicotine spray. It’s praised for its fast relief of nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

Also, it’s available in different flavors which may make it more appealing to some users.

2. Is it OK to swallow Nicorette spray?

It is not recommended to swallow immediately after using Nicorette spray.

Nicotine mouth sprays are designed for nicotine to be absorbed through the lining of the mouth, not the stomach. Swallowing the spray can reduce its effectiveness and potentially cause discomfort.

3. Can I eat or drink after Nicorette spray?

It’s recommended not to eat or drink 15 minutes before and after using Nicorette QuickMist.

This is because certain types of food and drinks, especially acidic ones like coffee, fruit juice, soft drinks, or beer, can affect how well the spray works.

Additionally, consuming food or beverages while using the mouth spray can cause the nicotine to be swallowed, reducing its effectiveness.

Remember, always use nicotine products as directed and consult with a healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.

4. Why is Nicorette spray so expensive?

Nicorette spray can be expensive due to several factors:

  1. Extraction and Production Costs: The extraction process of pure nicotine and the production costs for these cigarette replacements are high.
  2. Research and Development: Significant amounts of money are spent on research and development, safety testing, and efficacy studies for such products.
  3. Fast-acting Relief: Nicorette spray offers a fast-acting relief which could justify its cost. The speed at which it works may make it more effective for some users, hence the price.
  4. Cost-effectiveness compared to Smoking: While the upfront cost of Nicorette spray might seem high, it’s often considered cost-effective when compared to the long-term monetary and health costs of smoking.
  5. Controlled Dosage: Nicotine sprays allow the user to control the dosage, which can be beneficial for managing cravings.

5. Is it safe to use Nicorette spray long term?

The safety of long-term use of nicotine spray, like other forms of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), is generally considered safe for most healthy adults, but it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits.

6. How do I quit Nicorette QuickMist?

Quitting Nicorette QuickMist, like any other nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), should ideally be done gradually to help manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Here are some steps you can follow based on the information I found:

  1. Continued Usage: Continue using the spray as directed while you are in the process of quitting smoking.
  2. Gradual Reduction: Once you’ve successfully stopped smoking, gradually reduce the number of sprays you use each day. This slow decrease helps your body adjust to getting less nicotine over time.
  3. Monitor Your Progress: Keep track of how many sprays you use each day and aim to gradually reduce this number.
  4. Seek Medical Advice: If you’re finding it hard to reduce your usage or if you’re still feeling a strong need to use the spray, consult with a healthcare provider. They can provide additional support and strategies to help you quit.
  5. Support and Counseling: Consider seeking support from quit-smoking programs, counseling, or self-help materials. These can provide you with the tools and strategies to manage cravings and stay smoke-free.


While nicotine sprays can greatly aid in smoking cessation, the ultimate goal should always be complete cessation.

Quitting smoking brings numerous health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, and various types of cancer, thereby improving the quality of life and increasing life expectancy.

Click here to read the 101 Reasons to Quit Smoking

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