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Court Permits Retail Sales of Nicotine Replacement Therapy


Court Permits Retail Sales of Nicotine Replacement Therapy


In a significant development, a recent court ruling has paved the way for the sale of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) in retail outlets. The ruling acknowledges the effectiveness of NRT in aiding smoking cessation. It’s important to note that NRT is not only recognized as a safe and effective tool for quitting tobacco but is also included in the National List of Essential Medicines (added in 2022). This further emphasizes its importance in public health initiatives to quit tobacco.

Dr Chandrakant S Pandav, Padma Shree Awardee, Former HoD, Community Medicine, AIIMS, New Delhi commends the recent court ruling, stating, “This decision signifies a substantial shift in perspective regarding Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT). Understandably, NRT stands as a safe and effective aid for smokers looking to quit, and this ruling now rightly acknowledges that fact. NRT plays a vital role in providing the necessary support to quitters, allowing individuals to gradually reduce their nicotine intake and achieve a smoke-free life – a goal many smokers aspire to. Of late, the lifting of the ban and its easy availability will be a boost to quitting smoking.” 

Dr. Niranjan Naik, Director Onco-Surgery, Fortis Memorial Research Institute (FMRI), Gurgaon, emphasizes the significance of the decision saying, “This decision is a game-changer because it paves the way for making NRT more accessible. NRT is a safe and effective tool, widely recognized as the most effective form of quitting tobacco aid. By allowing its wider availability, we can empower millions of smokers who genuinely want to quit but struggle with withdrawal symptoms. Enhanced availability of NRT can greatly improve public health outcomes, leading to a healthier future for our communities. Its availability at retail outlets will help people head toward tobacco cessation.”

The recent court decision removes nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) from the Poisons Act of 1919, marking a turning point in smoking cessation efforts. This signifies a critical shift in perception, allowing NRT to be sold in retail outlets. By recognizing NRT’s value and increasing its accessibility, we empower individuals to quit smoking, ultimately saving lives and creating a healthier future for all.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 1 million people in India lose their lives to smoking every year. However, Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) can help. These come in the form of gums, patches, and inhalers, all providing controlled doses of nicotine to ease the process of quitting smoking. Each type of NRT offers specific advantages. Gums release nicotine gradually, patches provide sustained effects, and inhalers simulate smoking for immediate relief. Mints dissolve in the mouth, addressing cravings discreetly, though their effects may take longer to kick in.


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