Nicotine inhalers are approved nicotine cessation devices that are available in pharmacies. The Nicorette® inhaler is one of them. The plastic tube contains nicotine, which is taken by the smoker according to their needs through inhalation and mouth absorption.
It has been compared to classical tobacco cigarettes and electronic cigarettes in a 2010 study of C. Bullen, H. McRobbie, S. Thornley, M. Glover, R. Lin and M. Laugesen.
One of their main findings was that Nicorette® inhaler is the closest product to electronic cigarettes. But people suffer less from after effects with e-cigs than with the inhaler. Besides, while Nicorette® inhaler will ease deprivation symptoms in 25 minutes and classical cigarettes in 5 minutes, e-cigs will ease them in 15 minutes.
A study published in 2014 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine by the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey also compared the e-cigarette with the nicotine inhaler in terms of perceived benefits, harms, appeal, and role in assisting with smoking cessation.
The study included about 40 cigarette smokers, who had never used neither an e-cig nor a nicotine inhaler. They were given both to use for a three-day period and then asked to rate the products in terms of satisfaction and how helpful they thought each device was in helping them to quit smoking.
Unanimous participants rank e-cigarettes better than nicotine inhalers
The e-cigarette scored consistently higher than the inhaler in all aspects of perceived satisfaction. 76% of participants said they would use the e-cigarette to quit smoking. Less than 25% of them said they would use the nicotine inhaler. 18% did not smoke at all during the three-day test period using the e-cigarette, while only 10% refrained while using the inhaler.