Nicotine Patch

Definition - What does Nicotine Patch mean?

A nicotine patch is a medicinal adhesive pad laced with nicotine and placed along the upper arm or hip used as a deterrent from active tobacco use. A nicotine patch delivers specified amounts of nicotine through the skin over time, where it is then absorbed quickly into the bloodstream with different effects contingent on dosage strength. A nicotine patch often serves as a nicotine replacement product used by those attempting to quit smoking.

WorkplaceTesting explains Nicotine Patch

Nicotine patches can be an effective alternative to unassisted attempts to stop smoking because they help an individual avoid withdrawal symptoms incurred by immediate cessation. However, nicotine patches can still be misused in the same manner as any other prescribed medication. A doctor may prescribe nicotine patches to patients as part of a general health program to gradually decrease smoking habits.

Tobacco use remains a common and preventable cause of many health concerns, prompting many companies to adopt tobacco-free policies that prohibit its use. For years, many employers designated certain workplace areas as smoke break rooms to accommodate smokers' habits. However, there has been a shift in public opinion in the last few decades as information on the health issues surrounding tobacco use grows and many businesses have developed more stringent policies that forbid smoking at work. Many companies automatically disqualify applicants from employment opportunities because of tobacco use. This has raised questions over the possibility of discrimination laws being violated.

Qualitative and quantitative testing may call for nicotine, cotinine (metabolite from nicotine), and an alkaloid found in tobacco called anabasine. The absence or presence of any one of these substances can indicate current tobacco use, secondary exposure (environmental smoke), or non-use.

For instance, individuals claiming to be tobacco free while using a nicotine patch may be asked to submit to anabasine testing. A urine test that confirms a positive result in anabasine may demonstrate active tobacco use since nicotine patches do not contain anabasine.

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