(HealthDay News) -- If you've opted for a nicotine patch to help you quit smoking, it's important to know how to use it correctly.
The American Academy of Family Physicians offers these suggestions on how to use the patch:
- Leave the package closed until you are ready to use the product. When ready, open the package, peel off the patch's backing, and don't touch the sticky side of the patch.
- Clean and dry an area of skin on your upper body on which to apply the patch. Don't put it on an area that is hairy, burned, sore or has a cut.
- Place the patch (sticky side down) on your skin, smooth it out flat, and hold it for 10 seconds. Always wash your hands immediately after handling the patch. Otherwise, nicotine from the patch could irritate your eyes or nose.
- Only wear the patch for the time noted on the package -- not longer.
- When you remove the patch, fold it over so that it sticks together, and dispose of it in a way that's safe from children or pets.
- Put the patch on a different area of skin each day. You can use the same area after waiting one week.
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