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Smokers Remain Unaware of the Health Effects of Smoking, New Survey Finds
Date:11/13/2007

or heart attacks.(1) While smoking has been proven to cause cancer, heart disease, and lung disease, long-term use of NRTs are not known to be associated with any serious harmful effects.(2) These nicotine-related misperceptions can prevent consideration and appropriate use of smoking cessation aids such as nicotine replacement therapies (NRT).

The survey findings indicate smokers dramatically underestimate the safety and efficacy of NRT products such as the nicotine gum, patch and lozenge. More than 76 percent of smokers surveyed wrongly believe that, or do not know whether, NRTs are more addictive than cigarettes, highlighting the need for further education as cigarettes are vastly more addictive.(3,4) In fact, about half of the smokers surveyed stated they would be more likely to consider NRT if they were shown scientific evidence that prove its safety and efficacy.(1)

Other survey findings include:

-- Sixty-five percent wrongly believe or are unsure whether nicotine in

NRT products is more dangerous than the nicotine in cigarettes. NRT

products such as the gum, patch and lozenge are designed to break the

addiction and gradually wean smokers off nicotine.(3)

-- Two-thirds wrongly believe or do not know if nicotine gum, patches or

lozenges can cause cancer.(1) Many surveys have confirmed that there

is not a link between cancer and nicotine replacement therapy.(2)

-- Almost all survey respondents (92 percent) wrongly believe that, or

did not know whether, smoking while wearing the nicotine patch can

cause heart attacks. (1) Studies have shown that NRT such as the

patch, gum or lozenge does not increase the risk of heart disease,

cancer or other major health problems.(5,6)

-- Of the smokers in the survey who attempted to quit in the past with

NRT products, 76 percent were not using these products as directed by

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SOURCE American Legacy Foundation; GlaxoSmithKline ConsumerHealthcare
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