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Misperceptions About Smoking Cessation Aids May Hinder Smokers From Using Effective Treatment for Quitting

Data presented at national conference provides important insight into how

underutilization of treatments is jeopardizing quit attempts

PORTLAND, Ore., Feb. 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Leading researchers in the field of smoking cessation are gathering at the annual meeting of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT) to present the latest research on smoking cessation, including a new study revealing smokers' misperceptions about cessation treatments.

The study's findings indicate smokers dramatically underestimate the safety and efficacy of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products for quitting smoking, which may lead to less use of proven smoking cessation therapy that has been proven to double a smoker's chances of quitting.(1,2) Presentation findings were based on a study of 900 men and women adult smokers in the U.S.(1)

Seventy-six percent of smokers wrongly believe or do not know whether NRT is more addictive than cigarettes.(1) Additionally, 68 percent of smokers wrongly answered or do not know that NRT products are as dangerous as cigarettes.(1) Less than three percent of respondents answered all questions about treatment correctly, demonstrating the enormous need for further education.(1,3)

The good news is that even if smokers held these misperceptions, about half of them stated they would be more likely to consider NRT if they were shown scientific evidence that proves its safety.(1)

"Cessation treatments like nicotine replacement therapy have been proven to greatly increase the chances of successfully quitting," said Dr. Donna Vallone, Senior Vice President, Research and Evaluation American Legacy Foundation. "The research findings only reinforce the point that treatments for cessation are underutilized thereby jeopardizing successful attempts at quitting. More needs to be done to educate smokers."

The majority of smokers try to quit "cold turkey," yet only 3-5 percent of smokers who quit cold turkey are successful long-term.(4) Tools for cessation such as NRT products are among the first-line treatments recommended for all smokers and when used as directed, can significantly increase a smoker's chances of quitting versus cold turkey and remaining smoke-free long-term (6 months and longer).(2,4) Over 100 clinical trials involving over 35,000 participants and extensive consumer use over more than 20 years have proven the safety and efficacy of NRT when used as directed.(5)

Researchers at the SRNT conference will review the detailed results at the following time:
-- Oral Presentation: Smokers' Views on the Safety of Nicotine Replacement

Therapy -- An Opportunity for Education?

* Date: Saturday, March 1

* Time: 10:00 a.m. -- 11:30 a.m. PST

About the Study

A survey of 900 men and women adult smokers in the U.S. was fielded in July 2007 by Richard Day Research through an online panel, screening for adults age 18 and over who smoke cigarettes every day. The survey was fielded to determine what smokers currently understand about their risks of smoking, effects of nicotine and smoking cessation treatments. The data was weighted to adjust for age, ethnicity and gender using estimates from the 2006 National Health Interview Survey. The "average" respondent in the survey was 48 years of age and started smoking when they were 16 years old, smokes 20 cigarettes per day and has tried to quit three times in the past (16 percent of respondents have never tried to quit). The survey was conducted on behalf of The American Legacy Foundation and GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare the industry leader in smoking cessation.

About GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Consumer Healthcare is one of the world's largest over-the-counter consumer healthcare products companies. GSK offers the widest range of proven NRT products available, products which can significantly improve a smoker's chance of quitting successfully and have helped millions of people quit smoking. In addition, GSK offers several resources and support services designed specifically to help smokers and non-smokers understand and address the two components to smoking cessation: nicotine addiction and habit change. Its more than 30 well-known brands include the leading smoking cessation products, Nicorette(R), NicoDerm(R) CQ and Commit(R) as well as many medicine cabinet staples, including Abreva(R), alli(R) Aquafresh(R), Sensodyne(R), Tums(R) and Breathe Right(R), trademarks owned and/or licensed to GlaxoSmithKline Group of Companies.

About GlaxoSmithKline

GlaxoSmithKline is one of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical and consumer healthcare companies. GlaxoSmithKline is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer.

(1) Survey of 900 adult smokers in the U.S. conducted by American Legacy

Foundation and GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare in August 2007.

(2) Fiore MC, Bailey WC, Cohen SJ, et al. Treating Tobacco Use and

Dependence. Clinical Practice Guideline. Rockville, MD:

(3) Ferguson SG, et al. Smokers' Views on the Safety of Nicotine

Replacement Therapy -- An Opportunity for Education?, 2008 SRNT

Conference; Accepted Oral Presentation.

(4) Hughes et al., 1992. Smoking Cessation Among Self-Quitters. Health

Psychology, 11(5), 331-334

(5) Silagy et al. Nicotine replacement therapy for smoking cessation

(Cochrane Review). In: The Cochrane Library, Issue 1, 2004.

Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Contacts: Mark Polisky, GolinHarris


Jennifer May, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare


SOURCE GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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