Nicotine inhalation key to quitting

| May 18, 2016

A study by researchers at New Zealand’s University of Otago in Wellington showed that smokers who used a nicotine inhaler were twice as likely to quit smoking as were smokers who used a placebo inhaler, according to a news story on the university’s website.

Participants in the study were randomly assigned to receive either a nicotine inhaler developed by the researchers plus a nicotine patch, or a placebo inhaler plus a nicotine patch.

Study team leader Professor Julian Crane described the findings as the first evidence that inhaled nicotine from a simple standard inhaler was highly effective. Use of the device substantially increased a smoker’s chances of quitting when compared to the use of the best current nicotine replacement treatment.

“Currently most smokers use nicotine patches to help them stop smoking,” Crane said. “This study shows that if you add a nicotine inhaler to a nicotine patch, it doubles the chances of quitting over a nicotine patch alone.”

The story said that though there was considerable interest in the use of electronic cigarettes to help smokers give up smoking, many countries, including New Zealand, were hesitant to introduce these to the market, ‘especially as they are largely unregulated and untested’.

“There is considerable debate about whether inhaled nicotine is helpful for people who wish to stop smoking,” said Crane. “This is the first study to show that inhaled nicotine from a metered dose inhaler in the context of a smoker wanting to stop doubles their chances of quitting.”

The nicotine inhaler gives a metered dose of nicotine using a standard device that has been used for many decades for the treatment of asthma. But unlike electronic cigarettes, the inhaler has no physical associations with smoking.

The researchers are currently looking at how to make the inhaler available to all smokers who would like to use it.

The original story is at: http://www.otago.ac.nz/news/news/otago611888.html.

The results of the study, funded by the Health Research Council, were published in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research.

Category: Breaking News

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