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Using Both a Nicotine Patch and Nicotine Lozenges Proven Best for Helping People Quit Smoking

posted 10:08 PM EST, Wed November 04, 2009
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Using Both a Nicotine Patch and Nicotine Lozenges Proven Best for Helping People Quit Smoking © Photo Credit: Mendhak

University of Wisconsin researchers compared 5 different types of quit-smoking medications, and say that nothing works better than the nicotine patch augmented with nicotine lozenges.

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention knew that smokers looking to quit had a number of pharmacotherapies available to them (the nicotine patch, Buproprion, etc.) but they also knew that no head to head studies of relative effectiveness had yet been performed – and so smokers looking to quit had no way of knowing which truly worked best.

Looking to remedy this, the researchers enrolled 1504 smokers in a clinical trial. All subjects had smoked at least 10 cigarettes per day and all were motivated to quit. The study subjects were assigned, at random, to one of 6 treatment groups:

  1. Nicotine lozenge
  2. Nicotine Patch
  3. Buproprion (Zyban)
  4. Nicotine patch + nicotine lozenge
  5. Buproprion + nicotine lozenge
  6. Placebo

All treatments were taken for between 8 to 12 weeks and all subjects received 6 smoking cessation counseling sessions over this period.

To gauge the effectiveness of the different pharmacotherapies, smoking rates were measured at 1 week, 8 weeks and 6 months following the quit day.

The Results

After 6 months, only those using a nicotine patch and nicotine lozenges were more likely than those in the placebo group to have remained abstinent.

Additionally, those who used the patch and nicotine lozenges were most likely to:

  • Have remained abstinent at day 7
  • Take longer before relapsing
  • Complete at least one full day without smoking

The full study results can be found in the November issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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