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Nicotine lozenges

The nicotine lozenge is a type of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) that can be used to help you stop smoking. It helps to reduce cravings and feelings of withdrawal by replacing some of the nicotine you would normally get from smoking. Nicotine lozenges are often used together with the nicotine patch, which is a long-acting type of NRT, to help you quit. Watch the video and read the information below to learn about the nicotine lozenges and how to use them to help you stop smoking.

How to use the nicotine lozenge – the "Roll Technique" (aka "Cheek to Cheek")

Unlike other lozenges, you don't chew, suck or swallow the nicotine lozenge. Nicotine is absorbed through the mouth and slowly released into your body, so using a nicotine lozenge is all about adopting the ‘roll technique' (or the 'cheek to cheek' technique as it is also known).

There are two easy steps:

Step one: Take a lozenge when you feel like smoking. Even better, try to anticipate when a craving might strike and use a lozenge before the craving takes hold. 

Step two: Pop the lozenge in your mouth between the gum and the cheek and roll it around the mouth from time to time until it dissolves completely. This should take around 15 to 20 minutes. Do not chew, suck, or swallow the lozenge.

Some types of acidic drinks like coffee, fruit juice, soft drinks or beer can affect how well the lozenge works. Wait for 15 minutes after having these drinks before using the lozenge. The lozenge also won’t work as well if you take it while eating or drinking.

How nicotine lozenges help

Nicotine lozenges help by replacing some of the nicotine you would normally get from smoking; they can help to manage cravings. Using nicotine lozenges can also help to manage some of the other symptoms of nicotine withdrawal when you quit such as difficulty concentrating, frustration, restlessness and anxiety. 

What dose should I use?

The nicotine lozenge comes in two strengths: 2mg and 4mg (or 1.5mg or 4mg for the mini-lozenge). The right strength and dose for you depends on when you have your first cigarette in the morning and the number of cigarettes that you smoke each day – talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the right dose for you.

Use the lozenge for at least eight weeks, reducing the strength and frequency of use as directed.

How can I get nicotine lozenges at the discounted PBS rate?

You can buy nicotine lozenges at pharmacies, supermarkets or online. You can also get the nicotine lozenges (but not the mini-lozenges) at a discounted price on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). To get the nicotine lozenges at the discounted PBS rate, you need to get a prescription from your doctor, which you take to your pharmacist.

Under the Closing the Gap Scheme, eligible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can access nicotine patches, gum and lozenges for free or for a small co-payment. Speak to your doctor or call the Aboriginal Quitline on 13 7848 for more information

For your best chance of quitting

For your best chance of success, call Quitline and use a faster-acting type of NRT (mouth spray, gum, lozenge or inhalator), along with the nicotine patch. It is safe to use these two types of NRT together.  NRT helps to reduce your cravings to smoke, while Quitline will help you to identify your other triggers to smoke. Call 13 7848 to speak to our friendly and qualified Quitline counsellors today.

For more information: talk to your doctor, pharmacist or Quitline. For an overview of nicotine replacement therapy, watch our NRT frequently asked questions video. You can also view the patient resources on the Alfred Health website.


Click to download this webpage as a factsheet (PDF).

If you're thinking about quitting

If you're thinking of stopping smoking, chat with one of our qualified Quitline counsellors on 13 7848, Mon - Fri 8am - 8pm. Quitline provides non-judgmental, empathetic and tailored support to help you along your quitting journey. Quitline is a culturally inclusive service for all, including the LGBTIQA+ community. We also have Aboriginal counsellors

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available as well as an interpreter service for people who speak languages other than English. 


Please note, this information is not intended to replace consumer medicines information or health professional advice. If you would like to provide feedback, please contact quit@cancervic.org.au.

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