Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Smokers Double Their Quit Rate By Wearing Nicotine Patch Before Stopping

This might be welcome news for anyone who is trying to quit smoking.

DURHAM, N.C.Smokers trying to quit the habit may double their success rate by wearing a nicotine patch two weeks before their actual quit date, according to a Duke University Medical Center study. Currently, the patch's label warns against smoking while wearing the patch.

In a study of 96 smokers attempting to quit, 50 percent of those who wore the patch two weeks prior to quitting had stopped at four weeks. Only 23 percent of smokers who wore a placebo patch two weeks prior to quitting had stopped after four weeks. The same pattern appeared to continue for six months, although many of the study participants were no longer reachable to verify this trend, said the researchers.

If these findings are confirmed by a larger study currently underway, the researchers said the Food and Drug Administration may need to re-evaluate its current warning against smoking while wearing the nicotine patch. Moreover, said the researchers, such confirmation would lead them to advocate a change in clinical practice in smoking cessation programs, to include use of the patches before cessation...Full news release

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