Nicotine replacement therapy could help smokers quit

April 3rd, 2009 - 2:50 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Apr 3 (ANI): Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) can help smokers kick the habit even when they don’t think they are ready, says a new study.

The British Medical Journal study is the first of its kind to focus on sustained smoking abstinence using NRT for smokers who have no immediate plans to stop smoking.

To reach the conclusion, University of Birmingham researchers carried out a systematic review of seven randomised controlled trials that compared the outcomes of using NRT gum or inhalators to placebos.

The trials enrolled almost 3000 smokers who were given NRT for 6-18 months, 6.75 percent of NRT smokers achieved six months of sustained abstinence - twice the proportion who were given placebos. This amounts to 3 percent of smokers quitting who otherwise would not have done so.

The authors note that “previous data suggest that half of those who sustain six months of abstinence will maintain it for the rest of their lives.”

Using the therapy while smoking does not lead to serious health problems.

The authors make it clear that most of the evidence comes from trials with regular behavioural support and monitoring, and it is unclear whether using NRT without this regular contact would be as effective. (ANI)

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