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Using the inhalator

Problems to avoid

You should avoid eating and drinking 15 minutes before, and during, use of the inhalator (except for water). Acidic foods or drinks, such as orange juice, coffee, beer and soft drink, interfere with the amount of nicotine passing through the lining of your mouth from the inhalator.

Air temperature affects the amount of nicotine you get from the inhalator. In warmer weather the inhalator delivers larger amounts of nicotine, and smaller amounts in cooler weather. In very cold temperatures, you may not get enough nicotine. You should use the inhalator in temperatures over 15°C.

When to start use

Once you've bought the inhalator, you should set a quit date. Start using the inhalator first thing in the morning of your quit date or soon after your last cigarette - don't wait for cravings to hit first.

How to use and how much to use

After putting a nicotine cartridge in the inhalator, you draw a breath through the mouthpiece. You can either take shallow sucking breaths every two seconds or four strong deep breaths per minute. You will get a similar amount of nicotine either way. Nicotine is absorbed more slowly through your mouth than the lungs and will not reach your brain as quickly as it would if you were smoking - it's different from the way a cigarette delivers a fast ‘hit' of nicotine.

After 20 minutes of continuous use (about 80 deep inhalations), you will have used all the available nicotine from the cartridge. The product information recommends you use between 3 and 6 cartridges per day. If you use less than 3 cartridges per day, or do not inhale on the inhalator often enough, you may not get enough nicotine to reduce withdrawal symptoms. The product information recommends that you use the inhalator for at least 12 weeks, then reduce the number of cartridges you use per day for another six to eight weeks.

When to use

The instructions on the packet recommend using the inhalator when you feel the urge to smoke. However, Australian General Practice Guidelines and other research note that under use of the inhalator is a common problem, and that the inhalator works better when used regularly. Therefore, nicotine inhalator users may benefit from using one cartridge every two to four hours, and also using it if a strong nicotine craving arises.

Remember: The nicotine inhalator is a medicine and you should use it according to the advice from your pharmacist or doctor.