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Misperceptions About Smoking Cessation Aids May Hinder Smokers From Using Effective Treatment for Quitting
Date:2/29/2008

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 wh
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SOURCE GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare
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