GracePlace Wellness™
Grace Joubarne, CCHt, LAPHP
Clinical Hypnotherapy & Counselling Centre
#1-279 Columbus Ave., Ottawa, ON K1K 1P3
Bupropion (aka Wellbutrin, Zyban) have been approved for treatment of tobacco
addiction. Used alone or in combination with other drugs it is claimed that they
increase quit rates when compared to placebo, however research results tend to
have been primarily provided by the drug manufacturers and the overall health
costs of quitting this way are not addressed, nor is the definition of ‘quitting’.
Wellbutrin is prescribed as an anti-depressant, which suggests they realize there
is an underlying emotional reason for the addiction….something hypnotherapists
have claimed all along is the reason for the addiction in the first place! Thus the
drug suppresses
the symptoms of sadness and depression, which reduces the
smoker’s need to cope with the negative emotional feelings through nicotine. In
effect, the smoker trades the nicotine for this more expensive drug in order to
cope with his emotional issues. The drug must be continued for up to 6 months
to maintain abstinence. Studies do not report on what substitute habits emerged
in those who stopped smoking, nor how long abstinence lasted. provides an
endless list of serious side-effects .
Nortriptyline and Clonidine have also been found to be beneficial (not clear by
whom other then the drug manufacturer
), but have not been approved by the FDA
for smoking cessation. Catalogue of side effects for the tricyclic antidepressant
Nortriptyline - sold under the brand names Pamelor, Aventyl and others - which is
sometimes used in the treatment of bipolar disorder and other mood disorders
and mental illnesses can be accessed at
Withdrawing from this drug
sounds worse by far then withdrawing from nicotine.
Clonidine, a high blood pressure medication is no picnic either, with a long list of
side-effects including depression and weight-gain. Very careful withdrawal from
this drug is necessary. In other words, you trade one drug dependency for
another. For more vital information on this drug ‘therapy’ see:

The point is that the ‘pharmaceutical therapies’ appear to be far worse for the
individual then the nicotine!

Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)
Nicotine is the substance in tobacco known to cause dependence. Nicotine
replacement therapy (NRT), it is claimed, can reduce the severity of withdrawal
symptoms and cravings in patients abstaining from tobacco and has been shown
to double quit rates compared to placebo (again, self-reporting by the drug
manufacturers and with no indication that the quit rates are any more then
temporary after NRT). NRT can potentially reduce exposure to carbon monoxide,
carcinogens, and the more than 4000 other compounds found in tobacco smoke.
Pure nicotine delivered in proper doses is considered safe (?) and effective in
treating patients with tobacco addiction and in patients with stable
cardiovascular diseases. However when you read about the damages and
harmful effects of nicotine in the body, you wonder how pure doses of the stuff
can possibly be deemed safe. It is unclear how this can be called therapy when
one is removing nicotine with one hand and giving it back in more pure and
potent form with the other.
Bottom line is that you remain addicted to nicotine, which is what you were
enslaved by in the first place! And instead of spending your hard-earned dollars
on cigarettes you spend it on a drug, patch or gum, all of which have immediate
side-effects and potentially very damaging long-term side-effects.
Five delivery systems are available for NRT:

Nicotine transdermal patches - Nicoderm CQ Patch, Habitrol Transdermal
System, Nicotrol Patch

Nicotine chewing gum - Nicotine Polacrilex, Nicorette Gum
Nicotine inhalers - Nicotrol Inhaler
Nicotine nasal spray - Nicotrol Nasal Spray
Nicotine lozenge - Nicotine Polacrilex

Transdermal Nicotine Systems (patch):
Transdermal nicotine systems are available over the counter and deliver a fixed
dose of the drug nicotine over 16 to 24 hours. Side effects include:
headache, insomnia, nightmares, nausea, dizziness, blurred vision, redness and
pruritus at the site of the patch. The dose is usually reduced every 4 to 6 weeks.
You are trading nicotine for nicotine without smoke.
Nicotine Polarcrilex (nicotine gum)
Nicotine gum was the first NRT product approved by the FDA and is available
over the counter. It is basically a type of chewing gum, but instead of sweeteners,
it delivers nicotine to the body. The higher dose of nicotine is usually required
initially, so if you were only smoking half a cigarette or a cigarette once a day,
you are increasing instead of decreasing the dose of nicotine your body is
getting. When nicotine cravings are felt, the gum is chewed until a tingling
sensation in the mouth is noted, after which the gum is “parked” between the
cheek and gum until the cravings return, then the process is repeated.

The nicotine is absorbed by the tissues in the mouth and from there, it enters the
bloodstream. It has been found that in many cases, the users of the gum end up
getting addicted to it. Apart from the usual harmful effects of nicotine, the gum
has also been found to cause frequent hiccups in its users. It has been related to
an apparent constriction of the throat muscles. If that wasn’t enough, prolonged
use of nicotine gum might result in gum diseases. This is because nicotine
constricts blood vessels of the gums, thus resulting in inadequate blood flow and
susceptibility to gum disease.
We are still not clear on how substituting one addiction for another is therapy….
Nicotine Nasal Spray
Nicotine nasal spray (Nicotrol NS®) is an aqueous solution of nicotine delivering
approximately 0.5 mg of nicotine to the nasal mucosa with each spray. Nasal
irritation is common, affecting 80% to 90% of users. Other side effects include
sneezing, lacrimation (tearing) and cough. Clinical trials have shown favorable
quit rates, but the dependence and abuse potential is greater when compared to
other NRT products (but still lower than cigarettes). Thus, you are still getting
your nicotine fix, but at the higher cost because drugs are more expensive then
cigarettes and you are still hooked! Furthermore the harmful effects of nicotine
on the body continue.
Nicotine Inhaler
The Nicotrol® Inhaler (nicotine inhalation system) consists of a mouthpiece and
plastic cartridges, each containing 10 mg of nicotine. One cartridge is inserted
into the mouthpiece, and nicotine is released by inhaling. The majority of the
nicotine is deposited in the oral mucosa, and maximum blood levels are achieved
more slowly when compared to the nasal spray or cigarettes. The most common
side effects are cough and irritation of the mouth and throat. Of course the
harmful effects of nicotine on the body are still evident and maximized.
Combining NRT Systems
Apparently none of the NRT systems are as effective as the cigarette in delivering
nicotine to the brain. Heavily addicted patients may not achieve adequate blood
levels using a single NRT system. Combining NRT products has been shown to
be effective and safe (by drug manufacturers). The combination of trans-dermal
nicotine patches with nicotine gum provides steady state levels of nicotine and a
jolt of nicotine to treat break-through cravings. Compliance with NRT products is
highest with the nicotine patch and lowest with the nicotine inhaler. Combining
systems really only means you are combining the harmful effects of the ‘ drug

All rights reserved Grace Joubarne, 2009


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