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J Subst Abuse Treat. 2006 Apr;30(3):213-7.

High-dose nicotine patch therapy for smokers with a history of alcohol dependence: 36-week outcomes.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Boston University, Boston, MA 02118, USA.


This study reports findings from an investigation of the efficacy of high-dose nicotine patch (NP) therapy for heavy smokers with a history of alcohol dependence. One hundred thirty participants were randomly assigned to 42 or 21 mg of transdermal nicotine. Follow-up assessments were conducted at 4, 12, 24, and 36 weeks. Differences between dose conditions were nonsignificant, although, unexpectedly, outcomes favored participants in the 21-mg NP condition. Nicotine abstinence rates in the 21- and 42-mg NP conditions on Week 36 follow-up were 16.9% and 9.2%, respectively. Patch condition did not interact with severity of nicotine dependence. However, nicotine abstinence at follow-up was related to a longer length of alcohol abstinence. No evidence was found for better outcomes as a function of the percentage of baseline cotinine replaced by NPs. Future research should focus primarily on investigating ways to improve smoking quit rates for smokers in early alcohol recovery.

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