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NRT study debated

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Conclusions that nicotine replacement therapy has not increased smoking cessation rates since it switched OTC "have the potential to damage public confidence in NRT and may deter smokers from using effective treatment," according to a letter in Dec. 25 JAMA. Commenting on a recent study in the journal, Mikael Franzon, PhD, et al., Pharmacia, maintain the trial was "nonrandomized, noncontrolled" and "limited by retrospective self-reporting" of study participants (1"The Tan Sheet" Sept. 16, 2002, p. 11). Lindsay Stead, University of Oxford, et al., echo these assertions, noting it is "premature to draw inferences" from findings derived from self-reported data in a single state (California). In reply, study author John Pierce, PhD, UC-San Diego, says that falsely raising smokers' expectations about NRT without providing an "adequate explanation of the limitations...may be counterproductive in the long-term"...

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