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Study looks at nicotine gum, smoking cessation

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Smokers who began nicotine gum treatment four weeks prior to a target date to quit smoking were no less likely to stop smoking or experience withdrawal symptoms than subjects who started using the gum on their quit date, according to a Swiss study. Researchers led by Jean-Francois Etter, of the University of Geneva's Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, hypothesized that pre-cessation treatment with gum would be more effective than post-cessation treatment because they "thought that obtaining nicotine from gum instead of cigarettes would weaken cigarette reinforcement." The researchers write in a report published June 8 in the Archives of Internal Medicine that the 314 daily smokers studied might have had better success with additional face-to-face counseling or with a nicotine patch, which maintains a steady level of the drug in the bloodstream. Although the study results dispute the status of nicotine gum as a "cut down to quit" product in many countries, the researchers say there remains "a need to explore strategies to increase the reach and efficacy" of nicotine replacement therapies

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