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Recent Safety News About Smoking Cessation Therapies Leaving Smokers Confused, More Reluctant to Quit
Date:6/25/2008

New data indicates smokers may avoid medication when quitting

PITTSBURGH, June 25 /PRNewswire/ -- There has been recent news regarding the safety of a prescription smoking cessation therapy. A new survey found that this news has raised safety concerns and caused confusion among a significant percentage of smokers who are aware of the issues and has left them reluctant to quit. Moreover, the survey shows many smokers are avoiding medication to aid in their cessation efforts.(A)

The public health stakes are high as tobacco use kills five million people a year.(B) The majority of people who try quitting do so without assistance.(C) Less than five percent of people who try to quit on their own (cold-turkey) are successful long-term.(D) This underscores the need to get people help with medication when quitting smoking in order to address this important public health issue. Quitting with assistance can more than double one's chances of success.(E)

According to the survey, 31 percent of smokers aware of the safety issues said the recent news concerning a prescription stop-smoking medication has affected their decision to quit smoking or delayed their attempt. For example, almost half (48 percent) of aware smokers have decided to avoid using medications that help people quit.(A) This may be a direct result of incorrectly attributing the safety news to other products. In fact, two-thirds of aware smokers surveyed (67 percent) incorrectly attributed the safety news to other cessation aids, such as over-the-counter (OTC) therapeutic nicotine (TN),(A) which are approved as safe and effective by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

"What's concerning about these findings is that the recent safety news is affecting smokers' decisions to quit. What smokers need to understand is the reports do not involve other smoking cessation aids such as over-the-counter therapeutic nicotine," said Dr. Michael F. Roizen, founder of RealAge, Inc., Ch
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SOURCE GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare
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