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Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Type (Gums, Patches, Lozenges, Inhalers, and Others), By Distribution Channel (Hospital Pharmacy, Retail Pharmacy, and Online Pharmacy) and Regional Forecast, 2021-2028

Last Updated: April 08, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI103362



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The global nicotine replacement therapy market size was USD 2.81 billion in 2020 and is projected to grow from USD 2.92 billion in 2021 to USD 3.92 billion in 2028, at a CAGR of 4.3% in the 2021-2028 period. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with nicotine replacement therapy witnessing a positive demand shock across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a moderate growth of 12.2% in 2020. The sudden fall in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), tobacco is responsible for the death of more than 8 million people every year and is the second leading cause of global cancer deaths. This is an underlying burden on the healthcare industry to save millions of people. Therefore, to reduce tobacco consumption and eliminate the urge to smoke among smokers, the U.S FDA approved nicotine replacement therapy by introducing products such as nicotine gums, patches, lozenges, and others. Since then, pharmaceutical giants GlaxoSmithKline and Johnson & Johnson have been actively supplying products to the world.

NRT products have been effective in helping people quit smoking and are widely used among smokers struggling to quit. Moreover, the launch of several campaigns and government initiatives worldwide regarding the health awareness and benefits of quitting smoking can leverage the market potential in the forthcoming years.

Anti-Smoking Awareness Programs Amid COVID-19 to Aid Growth

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a moderate effect on the sales of NRT products. For preventive measures, health organizations such as WHO, CDC, and others have advised smokers to quit smoking. As tobacco smoke damages the lungs, it makes the person more vulnerable to the COVID-19 disease. Cipla Health Limited proactively supported this by initiating a campaign in April 2020 known as ‘21 Days to Quit Smoking Challenge’ by introducing them to the Nicotex gum NRT product. Attributed to increasing awareness among the population about the side effects of tobacco smoke has led to the higher adoption of products.

In May 2020, at the World Health Assembly, many countries showed efforts to ban tobacco products' sales as it affects the lungs, making people vulnerable to infection. This has eventually led to the increased awareness amongst the population regarding nicotine replacement therapies. Additionally, France was the first country worldwide to implement the ban on online sales and stop customers from buying NRT products. This was mainly done to prevent people from stockpiling products following the news that nicotine is beneficial in combating COVID-19 infection. Therefore, over the coming year marking a modest growth rate, the nicotine replacement therapy market will witness considerable growth during the forecast period.


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Introduction of Smartphone Apps and Behavioral Techniques to Drive the Market Growth

To help smokers in smoking cessation, many companies and doctors are focused on introducing novel ways to tackle the problem. The latest trend in smoking cessation is smartphone apps such as Cessation Nation, MyQuit Coach, QuitNow, SmokeFree, and many others. These apps help smokers track their daily habits, provide tips on non-smoking, and connect them with communities that help in quitting smoking. Moreover, many researchers investigate ways to look into the smoker’s mind and help them quit smoking. According to the study by Westmass, engaging the population in activities that are ‘self-expanding’ can help them get rid of nicotine cravings. Such progressive trends in the nicotine industry are likely to increase the adoption rate of NRT products during the forecast period.


Increasing Government/International Organizations Efforts for Anti-Smoking Initiatives to Fuel Product Demand

According to the Union of International Cancer Control (UICC), tobacco consumption is anticipated to kill a billion people in the 21st century. Tobacco consumption is the second leading cause of 22% of global cancer deaths. Such a fearful situation has helped various organizations around the world to come up with awareness campaigns and multiple initiatives. For instance, 31st May every year is marked as World No Tobacco Day globally to raise awareness among the population about the health hazards of tobacco consumption and the adoption of such products. Additionally, in July 2017, according to WHO, more than 2 million people enrolled in the Quit Smoking program of India in a year by adopting nicotine replacement therapy products. Owing to the government and other organizations' initiatives, the growing population towards anti-smoking is likely to grab them to higher adoption of these products, thus increasing its demand and sales.

Launch of Innovative Products to Bode Well for the Market

Due to the increased burden of decreasing the number of smokers, pharmaceutical giants are focused on introducing innovative and effective nicotine replacement therapy products. This is estimated to increase the market value by encouraging higher sales and adoption. For instance, in May 2017, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals announced the launch of Kwitz, a product that helps smokers in smoking cessation within three months. Additionally, in May 2017, Cipla Health Limited launched Nicotex Nicotine Patch as an NRT product. The transdermal patch helps in reducing the urge to smoke in smokers. Therefore, major companies' continuous product launches are expected to drive the nicotine replacement therapy market revenue in the forthcoming years.


Myths Surrounding NRT to Limit Product Adoption

Despite the tremendous awareness about the harmful effects of smoking through awareness campaigns, television ads, flyers, and others, the rate of people willing to quit smoking is lower. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) data in 2018, although 55.1% of the adults made a quit attempt, only 7.5% of them successfully discontinued smoking. Moreover, the launch of effective NRT products and awareness among the population still leads to the lesser adoption of products. As per a research study conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO), there are misconceptions about these products. These include that the products cannot reduce smoking habits, are not effective, have side effects, and are expensive. Therefore, the circulating myths about the products have lowered the adoption rate, eventually leading to lower sales.


By Type Analysis

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Adoption of Nicotine Gums for Smoking Cessation to Drive Growth of the Segment

Based on product type, the nicotine replacement therapy market is classified into gums, patches, lozenges, inhalers, and others. Gums dominated the product type segment in 2020. This is attributable to the rising sales of nicotine gums. Nicotine gums are readily available over-the-counter and without a prescription to help reduce nicotine cravings. Therefore, as the gums are available in abundance, they are highly preferred over others, consequently increasing the product's sales. For example, in May 2018, Cipla’s Nicotex announced the partnership with BEST (Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport Undertaking) on the World’s No Tobacco Day. The partnership has enabled Nicotex to train a large number of doctors, nurses, and pharmacies to spread awareness on the right dosage of products to help quit tobacco by the BEST employees and passengers.

 Nicotine patches hold the second position in the market owing to their effectiveness in reducing the urge to smoke. Manufacturers are highly focused on introducing nicotine patches that are likely to boost products' sales. Moreover, NRT products such as lozenges, inhalers, and sprays are useful in prohibiting smoking. Therefore, rising awareness among the population is anticipated to increase the product's sales during the forecast period.

By Distribution Channel Analysis

Preference of Smokers to Buy at Nearby Stores to Propel Retail Segment Growth

In terms of the distribution channel, the market is segmented into hospital pharmacy, retail pharmacy, and online pharmacy.

The hospital pharmacy is expected to have a dominant share in the market during the forecast period. This is primarily due to the increased patient hospital stays who are suffering from chronic diseases such as cancer, lung cancer, respiratory disease, strokes, etc., due to excessive smoking habits. This has led to increased sales of NRT products to spread awareness about the importance of prohibiting smoking.

Retail pharmacies are expected to emerge as the fastest-growing segment due to the smokers’ preference to purchase NRT products from the nearby retail stores. Additionally, the government's issuance of guidelines to the pharmacies is anticipated to contribute to driving the population towards the adoption of NRT products. For instance, the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NHS) of England has drafted guidelines for pharmacists to help smokers quit tobacco smoking.


North America Nicotine Replacement Therapy Market Size, 2020 (USD Billion)

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North America and Europe together account for the majority share of the nicotine replacement therapy market at about 80%. The market size in North America stood at USD 1.32 billion in 2020. This region's dominance is attributable to the highest retail sales of NRT products in the U.S and Canada. The rate of smokers that are practicing the prohibition of smoking is increasing in the region, and hence the demand for these products such as gums, inhalers, etc., is higher. Additionally, smoking cessation rates in the U.S are higher than in other countries, which has led to the increasing sales of these products. According to the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) survey, approximately 68% of the U.S population has decided to quit smoking. Therefore, this is anticipated to raise the sales of the products in the coming years. Moreover, gums are dominantly used in the U.S to get rid of smoking than other products in the market.

The market in Europe holds the second position owing to the growing sales of products in European countries such as the U.K, Germany, etc. Furthermore, the government in the region is strongly focused on implementing initiatives for ‘quit smoking.’ For instance, the U.K government is keen on spreading awareness among the population by regularly updating articles about the benefits of quitting smoking on its portal.

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The market in the Asia Pacific is expected to exhibit healthy growth owing to the growing awareness among the population about the side effects of smoking coupled with robust government support in prohibiting tobacco consumption in the region. For instance, the Times of India published an article in March 2020 about ‘Quit Smoking’ wherein the awareness regarding NRT products was also stated. Latin America & the Middle East & Africa accounted for a comparatively lower share due to a vast untapped market for these products and lesser awareness about the importance of quitting tobacco consumption.


The global nicotine replacement therapy market is a conserved market by having two leading players GlaxoSmithKline and Johnson & Johnson Inc., accounting for approximately 80% of the share. GSK’s vast portfolio of NRT products such as NicoDerm CQ Patch, Nicorette Gum, Lozenges available in various dosages and flavors have contributed to the dominance. GSK’s strong distribution channel and reliable brand presence among the population have led to its higher revenue generation. Johnson & Johnson is also the leading player in the market, with products such as sprays, gums, inhalers, and the patch.

Other players such as Pfizer, Perrigo Company plc, and Cipla have considerable shares in the global market. Launching campaigns to stop smoking and raising awareness about the companies' adoption of NRT products is helping increase their sales. Therefore, leveraging the market value.


  • GlaxoSmithKline plc (U.K, Europe)

  • Johnson & Johnson Inc (New Jersey, U.S)

  • Perrigo Company plc (Ireland, Europe)

  • Pierre Fabre SA, Laboratories (France, Europe)

  • Pfizer Inc. (New York, United States)

  • Cipla Limited (Mumbai, India)

  • British American Tobacco Plc (U.K, Europe)

  • Other Players


  • May 2020 – Cipla Health’s smoking cessation brand Nicotex announced the collaboration with Karnataka and Goa governments to provide nicotine replacement therapy to the frontline workers.

  • July 2019 - PL Developments expanded its NRT space by collaborating with Teva’s U.S OTC products.


An Infographic Representation of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) Market

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The nicotine replacement therapy market research report provides a detailed analysis of the market. It focuses on key aspects such as leading companies, product types, and leading applications of the product. Besides this, the report offers insights into the market trends and highlights key industry developments and competition landscape. In addition to the aforementioned factors, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the growth of the market over recent years.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



   Value (USD Billion)


   Type; Distribution Channel; and Geography

By Type


  • Gums

  • Patches

  • Lozenges

  • Inhalers

  • Others

By Distribution Channel


  • Hospital Pharmacy

  • Retail Pharmacy

  • Online Pharmacy

By Geography


  • North America

    • By Type

    • By Distribution Channel

    • By Country

      • USA (By Type)

      • Canada (By Type)

  • Europe

    • By Type

    • By Distribution Channel

    • By Country

      • UK (By Type)

      • Germany (By Type)

      • France (By Type)

      • Italy (By Type)

      • Spain (By Type)

      • Scandinavia (By Type)

      • Rest of Europe (By Type)

  • Asia Pacific

    • By Type

    • By Distribution Channel

    • By Country

      • Japan (By Type)

      • China (By Type)

      • India (By Type)

      • Australia (By Type)

      • Southeast Asia (By Type)

      • Rest of Asia Pacific (By Type)

  • Latin America

    • By Type

    • By Distribution Channel

    • By Country

      • Brazil (By Type)

      • Mexico (By Type)

      • Rest of Latin America (By Type)

  • Middle East & Africa

    • By Type

    • By Distribution Channel

    • By Country

      • GCC (By Type)

      • South Africa (By Type)

      • Rest of MEA (By Type)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 2.81 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 3.92 billion by 2028.

In 2020 the North America market size stood at USD 1.32 billion.

Growing at a CAGR of 4.3%, the market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2021-2028).

The gums segment is expected to be the leading segment in this market during the forecast period.

Increasing addiction of smokers coupled with growing government initiatives to make a smoke-free world are factors driving the markets growth.

GlaxoSmithKline and Johnson & Johnson Inc are major players of the global market.

North America dominated the market share in 2020.

Rising awareness among the population about the side effects of smoking and the launch of innovative products is expected to drive the adoption in the global market.

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