Transdermal nicotine and smoking cessation - Tips from Other Journals

Date: June, 1992

Nicotine polacrilex gum has been shown to be a helpful adjunct to smoking cessation in certain patients. However, not all patients can use nicotine gum. The Transdermal Nicotine Study Group evaluated the effectiveness of transdermal nicotine in smoking cessation.

Two six-week, placebo-controlled multicenter trials of transdermal nicotine patches were conducted. A total of 935 patients were enrolled in the trials; 250 withdrew from the study prematurely. Patients were randomly assigned to receive placebo or 7-, 14- or 21-mg nicotine patches. Patients also attended group support sessions.

In patients who successfully abstained from cigarette smoking during the initial six-week trial, the patches were gradually withdrawn over the next six weeks. Smoking behavior was evaluated by patient diaries and expired-breath carbon monoxide levels at six and 12 weeks and at three and six months. Nicotine withdrawal symptoms were also recorded.

All doses of transdermal nicotine significantly reduced withdrawal symptoms, compared with placebo. In addition, cessation rates and six-month abstinence rates in patients using nicotine patches were significantly better than the rates in patients using placebo patches. For example, the six-month abstinence rate in patients using the 21-mg nicotine patches was 26 percent, compared with 12 percent in patients using the placebo patches.

The authors conclude that transdermal nicotine delivery systems can be a helpful adjunct to smoking cessation efforts. (JAMA, December 11, 1991, vol. 266, p. 3133.)

COPYRIGHT 1992 American Academy of Family PhysiciansCOPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group

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