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GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare to Reach 85 Percent of the World's Smokers with Quit Aids

Experts convene at World Conference on Tobacco OR Health meeting to discuss reducing global tobacco use and accessibility to treatment options

MUMBAI, India, March 9 /PRNewswire/ -- GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Consumer Healthcare today announced plans to increase the availability of their therapeutic nicotine products to reach more than 800 million people world-wide over the next four years. The announcement was made at the World Conference on Tobacco OR Health (WCTOH) meeting held this year in India, a country on pace to see nearly one million smoking-related deaths per year by 2010(1). Thought leaders from around the globe gather at this triannual conference to discuss global initiatives under way to reduce tobacco use and its extraordinary health toll.

"GSK plans to introduce our quit smoking aids to 85 percent of the world's smokers by 2013. We are committed to finding approaches, in concert with local experts, to maximize the access and impact of our life-saving products," said Raj Mishra, MD, PhD, vice president research and development, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare. "Our hope is that by launching our therapeutic nicotine products globally we will be doing our part to help reduce the global burden from tobacco-related disease by helping more smokers quit."

A World Health Organization (WHO) global tobacco report found that tobacco use was increasing most rapidly in low-income countries due to steady population growth coupled with tobacco industry efforts. In fact, the report states that without a commitment to helping smokers quit, a projected one billion smokers will die prematurely from tobacco this century(2). As part of their outlined policy, the WHO encourages leaders in the fight against tobacco to offer help to quit tobacco use through three types of treatment - telephone counselling, cessation advice in primary healthcare services and pharmacotherapy including the use of therapeutic nicotine(2).

"Many smokers around the world want to quit, but do not have the necessary information or resources to do so effectively. Increasing the accessibility of products designed to help smokers quit is a positive step towards a smoke-free world," said Dr. Randeep Guleria, professor, Department of Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences. "With their recently passed ban on smoking in enclosed public places, India's government is sending a strong message to its more than 120 million adult smokers(1) that they are serious about stemming the persistent widespread tobacco use in India. Encouraging the use of cessation aids such as therapeutic nicotine is the next step towards ridding this country of a perilous health issue."

The global implications of continued tobacco use are staggering:

  • Tobacco use is the number one preventable cause of death and disease, projected to cause one billion deaths in the 21st century unless effective interventions are implemented(2).
  • More than one in three adults worldwide (more than 1.1 billion people) smokes, 80 percent of whom live in low- and middle-income countries(2).
  • If current smoking patterns continue, it will cause some 10 million deaths each year by 2020 and 70 percent of these will occur in developing countries(2).
  • In the United Sates alone, tobacco dependence costs the nation almost $200 billion - more than $96 billion per year in direct medical expenses and $97 billion in lost productivity(3).

Safety and Efficacy of GlaxoSmithKline's Therapeutic Nicotine

Therapeutic nicotine including the NiQuitin lozenge and patch (brand name Nicabate in Australia) can help relieve withdrawal symptoms during smoking cessation(3). Research from more than 110 clinical trials involving over 40,000 participants have established the safety and efficacy profile of therapeutic nicotine products when used as directed(4). Therapeutic nicotine is recommended as a first-line treatment for smoking addiction in United States, United Kingdom and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines(2,3,5). To date, GSK's therapeutic nicotine has helped more than six million people around the world quit smoking, and as a result, has greatly reduced their exposure to the risks of cancer and other smoking-related diseases(6).

These products are designed specifically to break the addiction cycle by offering a gradual, controlled delivery of nicotine to the body, helping to relieve withdrawal symptoms.

About GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare

GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare is one of the world's largest over-the-counter consumer healthcare products companies. Its more than 30 well-known brands include the leading smoking cessation products, NicoDerm(R) CQ and Commit(R), NiQuitin and Nicabate, as well as many medicine cabinet staples such as Aquafresh(R), Panadol(R), Crocin(R), Horlicks(R) and Sensodyne(R). GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare continues to develop innovative products to help all smokers find their best support system and achieve their goal of being cigarette free.

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) Jha, et al; A Nationally Representative Case - Control Study of Smoking and Death in India; NEJM, 2008

(2) World Health Organization. WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic, 2008. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2008 [cited 2008 Mar 21]. Available from:

(3) Fiore MC, Jaen CR, Baker TB, et al. Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008 Update. Clinical Practice Guideline. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Public Health Service. May 2008.

(4) Silagy et al. Nicotine replacement therapy for smoking cessation (Cochrane Review). In: The Cochrane Library, Issue 1, 2004. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, LTD.

(5) NICE. 2002. Guidance on the use of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and bupropion for smoking cessation. Technology Appraisal Guidance - No.39.

(6) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Use of FDA-approved pharmacologic treatments for tobacco dependence. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2000; 49: 665-668.

    Contacts:  Mark Polisky
               00 +1+312+729+4417

               Jennifer May
               Consumer Healthcare
               00 +1+412+200+3729

SOURCE GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare
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