New evidence shows nicotine patches don’t workOctober 10th, 2008 - 3:11 pm ICT by IANS
Sydney, Oct 10 (IANS) Millions of dollars are spent in purchasing over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapy, but they have been found to be of uncertain effectiveness when used alone. Associate professor Raoul Walsh, Centre for Health Research and Psycho-oncology (CHeRP), reviewed 12 studies relating to the effectiveness of over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapy.
He discovered that the results of the studies did not convincingly demonstrate that the therapy, when used alone without additional support, was effective in helping smokers to quit, according to a CHeRP release.
Walsh said his review revealed that the methods used in nicotine replacement therapy trials were very different from real life. Based on the results, people cannot make valid assumptions on the effectiveness of the therapies.
“Nicotine replacement therapies, such as nicotine gum, lozenges or patches, purchased at the local supermarket can be effective as part of an overall strategy to help people stop smoking. However, we do not really know the long term success of over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapy when used alone without additional support.
“Many smokers regard patches as magic bullets in their quest to stop smoking. This may be misleading because minimal support, such as medical advice or telephone counselling, in addition to the patches may be the necessary ingredients for achieving modest success rates.”
These findings have been published in Drug and Alcohol Review.