Nicotine replacement therapies, or NRTs, were introduced in the early 90’s with nicotine gum and patches. These devices were a quick way of getting nicotine into the bloodstream without smoking a cigarette.
Nicorette soon became an industry leader and developed a range of NRTs including the quick mist, the lozenge and the micro-tab. As inventive as these devices were, none managed to emulate the ‘cool’ image of the real thing, leading many smokers to abandon the therapy.
NRTs became available over the counter in 1996, and, come 2003, Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik designed an electric counterpart to the humble cigarette. This copy allowed users to inhale nicotine-filled water vapour without taking in the harmful tar or smoke that comes with a regular cigarette.
The electronic cigarette has developed over the years and has come at a time when more and more places are making smoking illegal. These days the idea of smoking itself is frowned upon, so people are feeling less self conscious about using an e-cigarette. Celebrities like Kate Moss and Ronnie Wood have already been papped smoking e-cigarettes and it is expected that this year the number of e-cigarette smokers in the UK will top one million for the first time.
For those of you keen to give it a go, bear in mind that research shows those trying to quit with NRTs are twice as likely to relapse. Proving that the cheapest and most effective way to quit smoking remains going cold turkey.
If you are struggling with nicotine addiction, speaking to a counsellor may help. For more information, please see our Addiction page.
View and comment on the original Independent article.