While the nicotine patch is not the first nicotine replacement therapy on the market it is certainly the most popular of this group of stop smoking products. There are several reasons for this but the main one is ease of use and the much lower chances of adverse reactions. Nicotine gums for instance uses the very sensitive tissues of the inner mouth to inject the nicotine and this can cause problems if you are sensitive and many people are. The same is true of nasal sprays and inhalers. Nasal sprays penetrate the sensitive sinuses and inhalers the throat and brachial tract. Since the amount of nicotine in NRTs is much higher than a single cigarette this can cause serious problems for those sensitive areas.
The stop smoking patch however is commonly placed on the shoulder or upper back and transmits the nicotine into the system through skins pores by using a skin penetrating chemical like methyl mercury or dimethylsulfoxide. These chemicals become inert in the blood stream leaving only the nicotine to do its work. The skin of the shoulder or upper back is much less likely to have a bad reaction to the nicotine.
The problem with the stop smoking patch for most people is that every time you change stages you will still suffer some of the withdrawal symptoms and if you work or live in a high stress situation you will probably relapse and have to start all over again. These products are generally used by people who have tried other programs and failed and this is the last resort for NRTs. The biggest problems are that no therapy has good success rates when used alone. If you do not have good peer support set up and some counseling on your schedule you will find yourself having many more problems.
A better solution is to use herbal remedies to help with the symptoms or even something like a stop smoking shot or pill at the same time. This will reduce your dependence on nicotine and at the same time keep the withdrawal symptoms at a much more comfortable level.