Nicotine Gum, Patches Don't Help Long-Term
NRT users just as likely to relapse as other quitters
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 10, 2012 1:39 AM CST
Updated Jan 10, 2012 5:12 AM CST
Nicotine gum is given to people who want to quit smoking at a clinic In Los Angeles.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Nicotine gum and patches are a lot more effective in clinical trials than they are in the real world, according to researchers at Harvard's Center for Global Tobacco Control. In the most thorough study yet of nicotine replacement therapy, researchers found that people who use the products are just as likely to relapse as people who try to quit smoking without them, the New York Times reports. The researchers interviewed quitters at two-year intervals and found that around a third of them relapsed.

"We were surprised and, quite frankly, disappointed by the results, but it is real," the center's director says. "It showed clearly that while the NRT products can help with quitting and withdrawal over two weeks to six months, they are not really designed to help with relapsing." The study's authors say their findings suggest that federal health care money used to provide NRT might be better spent on educational campaigns.

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Showing 3 of 15 comments
Jan 10, 2012 11:16 AM CST
In my experience it made quitting easier, not easy, and it NEVER helps you stay quit. 6 years later I see or smell a cigarette, and my body still aches for the nicotine. Let's face it , you haven't really quit until you're dead. It's about self control all the way.
Jan 10, 2012 9:33 AM CST
Quitting tomorrow is easy. It's the action of quitting right NOW that has the only affect.
Jan 10, 2012 9:28 AM CST
Impulse control. EVERY person I know who smokes cigarettes today LACKS it. And it shows in every other impulse slave aspect of their lives.