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Does The Nicotine Patch Work?

Smokers who are concerned about their health and want to end their addiction to cigarettes have spent hundreds of dollars on nicotine patches and gum to make it easier to put cigarettes aside. Now a new study comes along that tells us, it doesn’t work. Those who use these products are no better off than those who quite cold turkey. And worse yet the appointed panel who approved the nicotine patches were paid by the product manufacture.

Does the nicotine patch work? No it doesn’t. That’s the word from the latest studies. 2,000 smokers who used the nicotine patch and those who did not, were followed for several years as part of the program.  Nicotine patches have sold like hot cakes since medical studies promoted them as being of value in kicking the smoking habit. That study was the basis of the federal guidelines recommendations for smokers who wanted to give up cigarettes. The patches were approved for over the counter sale in 1997, and in some states Medicaid paid for them.

Image by goblinbox (queen of ad hoc bento) via Flickr

Harvard’s Center for Global Tobacco Control and co author of the study program said, “We were hoping for a very different story. I ran a treatment program for years, and we invested $6 million in treatment services.” He also added that patients compliance was a big issue.  The market for nicotine patches is big business, earning more than $800 million annually.  Medical studies which the public trusted touted the product and made the manufactures millions.  A government appointed panel approved the nicotine patches as part of federal guidelines for treatment. Now the kicker,  It has been discovered that the approving panel received pay from the product’s manufacture. That little bit of information tells the tale.

  The recent study which determined that the patches do not work followed smokers who were quitting on their own and those using nicotine patches. The participants were interviewed  three times. Once in 2001 or 2002, again in 2003 or 2004, and finally in 2005 or 2006. Interviewers asked the survey group about their use of patches, gums and any other products, their relapses and abstinence.  It was found that replacements products made no difference whether any were taken, or if taken in a six week program, or with the guidance of a counselor. About one third of all smokers relapsed.

  So those of you who are considering quitting cigarettes might as well save your money to buy sugarless gum and candy. Anything to take take your mind off a cigarette. It wont cost you nearly as much money as nicotine patches and might be more helpful.

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  1. Just another gimmic to get one’s money! I have never smoked however, I feel sorry for those that do and really want to quit.

  2. i think chewing gum is the best option. but what you said is something very serious.

  3. Hard habit to break.

  4. Interesting study. Agree with you that “anything to take your mind off a cigarette.” will do.

  5. Some people say the ecigs work for them.

  6. Interesting study

  7. Good share

  8. I agree, Ruby, a friend of mine quit smoking by chewing gum and eating cookies.

  9. Excellent piece of work. I never really believed. In the nicotene patch. I have heard of people getting addicted to that when they tried.

  10. Cigarette smokers could do better by not using this product at all in order to quit smoking.

  11. Hope it works.

  12. calls for self discipline.

  13. Great info

  14. Great article Ms. Ruby. I knew these products were a scheme to take money from people. That is why I wrote the article Stop Smoking the Natural Way. http://healthmad.com/addiction/stop-smoking-the-natural-way/ That is how I did it and I haven’t smoked for almost 12 years. Not missing them either. I’m going to share your article to Twitter and some other places.

  15. Ruby, I shared your article on Twitter, Digg and Stumble Upon. People need to know about this.

  16. I’ve found the losenges are very helpful for me…but now somewhat hooked to the losenges!

  17. I have never smoked but my son and daughter do. My daughter tried a nicotine patch and they made her sick and gave her nightmares. She did however quit smoking for a long while and then started again.

  18. I’ve read your articles thanks a lot

  19. I guess I am one of the few that it worked for, I had to deal with the allergic reaction to the adhesive; but hey, it has been nearly 15 years that I am smoke free.
    I felt the patch helped by taking the edge off, making it possible to handle the desires….the need for a cigarette.

  20. The patch doesnt really work, but it can help.
    But those interested in quitting should try the new electronic cigarettes, these are a much better product with a higher succes rate.
    I got one and I really enjoy it

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