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Nicotine Patch Plus Lozenge Best for Quitting Smoking
Date:11/2/2009

This combo wins out in first head-to-head study of various smoking-cessation aids

MONDAY, Nov. 2 (HealthDay News) -- The first head-to-head comparison of different quit-smoking products finds that a nicotine patch combined with a nicotine lozenge had the most success.

More than other methods, including antidepressants, this combination best mimics the actual highs and lows of smoking to help smokers kick their habit, experts said.

"The study shows that, yes, one therapy came out on top, the patch and the lozenge [together]," said Dr. Jonathan H. Whiteson, co-director of the Joan and Joel Smilow Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention Center at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City.

"The reasoning behind it is that the patch supplies a steady supply of nicotine replacement and the lozenges give a boost of nicotine which you can use when you have an extra craving. It gives people control," said Whiteson, who was not involved in the research.

"If you combine these different types of nicotine replacement you're going to get the best bang for your buck," added Megan E. Piper, lead author of the new study and an assistant professor at the Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. "But also remember that in this study people got a lot of counseling. It was that combination that resulted in a 40 percent quit rate [at six months out]."

In fact, coupling the patch with the lozenge was the only intervention that performed better than a placebo, reported the study, which appears in the November issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

The study adds insight to a field that's long suffered from too little research. "As each medication comes out, it is tested against a placebo," but not against other methods, Piper explained. "There just hasn't been the funding or the availability of a program to do something like that."


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