Actually, nicotine inhalers are often perscribed by doctors because they work better than gum, lozenges, or patches for people trying to kick the habit of smoking. For most people, the act of smoking is due to the oral fixation. The nicotine inhaler allows the person trying to quit to keep their hands and mouth busy while recieving smaller doses over a perscribed period of time. For most of the older nicotine inhalers, it is a health risk to actually inhale the nicotine, and, when using, you are told to hold the nicotine in your mouth for a few seconds before exhaling, not to actually inhale the nicotine into your lungs. This is probably the reason for why the inhalers died out, as many smokers habitually inhale the smoke when smoking cigarettes (unlike smokers of cigars or pipes).