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Smokers who use the Nicotine Patch prior to Quitting Smoking are Twice as Likely to Quit - Duke University Research

February 1st 2006

Smokers who use the Nicotine Patch prior to Quitting Smoking are Twice as Likely to Quit - Duke University Research

Dr. Jed E Rose

Smokers that used the nicotine patch before they quit smoking were twice as likely to quit as those that did not. It is important to not however that the patches are not recommended for people that still smoke.   There are other forms of nicotine replacement products, including gum, nasal sprays, inhalers, lozenges, and tablets. 

Researchers at the Duke University Center for Nicotine and Smoking Cessation Research (DNSCR) say that smokers who use the patch before quitting smoking will double their chances of success. 

Although smoking rates have gone down over the past few decades, there are still 50 million smokers in the United States.  More than half of these smokers say they want to give up the habit for good. 

 

There are concerns about nicotine overdose when people use the patch while they still smoke. In fact, the labels warn users against smoking while applying the patch.  The symptoms of such an overdose include nausea and vomiting.  It could also cause death.

The Duke University researchers tested their theory on 96 smokers.  These participants smoked one pack per day and wanted to quit.  Half of the smokers wore patches one week prior to quitting and the other half wore a placebo patch.  They were also assign specific cigarettes to smoke. The cigarettes ranged from low tar, low nicotine, and some received cigarettes with almost all of the nicotine removed. 

All of the participants were given the cessation drug Inversine on their “quit date”.  They were also given patches containing different amounts of nicotine, including some with no nicotine at all.

 

After a month, half of the smokers who had wore the nicotine patches before quitting were able to quit smoking.  One quarter of the participants who wore the placebo were able to quit smoking.  Six months later, 22% of the pre-cessation nicotine patch users were still smoke-free, compared with 12% of the participants who wore the placebo.

Dr. Jed E. Rose, Director of the Duke CNSCR and Medical Research Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, believes the FDA needs to re-evaluate its current warning against smoking while wearing the patch, if their findings are confirmed.  He told WebMd that “What these studies seem to show is that rather than getting a lot more nicotine, people tend to compensate for the nicotine they get through the patch.”   Smokers who get the nicotine in their bodies tend to crave fewer cigarettes.  Rose compares this effect to sitting down for a big meal with a full stomach.

 
 
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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:50 PM