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Nicotine therapy challenged

Tuesday January 10th, 2012

Researchers have challenged the benefits of nicotine patches and gum to help smokers quit.

A study, conducted in Massachusetts, USA, found that nicotine replacement therapy made no difference to the success of smokers in giving up.

Earlier trials of the therapy have reported that it is effective.

But the US researchers say their findings challenge the benefits of prescribing the patches and gums.

The findings, reported in the journal Tobacco Control last night, involved following the progress of 787 smokers who had tried to give up.

About one third of participants relapsed - and nicotine therapies made no difference.

Researcher Hillel Alpert, of the Harvard School of Public Health, Massachusetts, said: "This study shows that using nicotine replacement therapy is no more effective in helping people stop smoking cigarettes in the long-term than trying to quit on one's own."

A Prospective Cohort Study Challenging the Effectiveness of Population-based Medical Intervention for Smoking Cessation. Hillel R. Alpert, Gregory N. Connolly, Lois Biener. Tobacco Control, doi:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2011-050129, online January 9, 2012.

Tags: Drug and Alcohol Abuse | North America | Pharmaceuticals

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