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Patches, Counseling, Persistence Can Help Smokers Quit
Date:11/28/2011

ted to accommodate the possibility that it might not work the first time. That doesn't mean it's not going to work in subsequent attempts," Joseph added.

"If someone has tried and failed, they should try again," agreed Patricia Folan, director of the Center for Tobacco Control at the North Shore-LIJ Health System in Great Neck, N.Y. "People often try to quit five to seven times before they're successful," Folan pointed out.

"The fact that long-term care, like ongoing support, results in better quit rates makes sense as we believe that nicotine addiction is like other addictions such as heroin or alcohol, which have been clearly shown to be best managed with ongoing long-term interventions," said Dr. Norman Edelman, chief medical officer for the American Lung Association.

However, if the method in Joseph's study was to be widely used by hospitals or health care providers, that would likely be more expensive than current approaches, Edelman added, and cost-effectiveness would first need to be analyzed.

In another new study, researchers from the Medical University of South Carolina wanted to see if a smoking cessation program that included nicotine replacement therapy and counseling could help people quit even though they had no desire to stop smoking.

"Nicotine replacement therapy is proven as an effective smoking cessation medication, yet few smokers use it," said lead researcher Matthew Carpenter, an associate professor in the department of psychiatry.

Although most smokers are interested in quitting, many are hesitant to try quitting in the near future. In addition, many smokers have misconceptions about what nicotine replacement therapy is, how it works, and its safety, Carpenter noted.

The team randomly assigned more than 800 smokers to various programs. Some practiced quitting alone and some with the help of nicotine replacement therapy. Those given no nicotine replacement therapy received help in motivation, confide
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