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Lancet. 1992 Aug 8;340(8815):324-9.

Randomised controlled trial of nasal nicotine spray in smoking cessation.

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Health Behaviour Unit, National Addiction Centre, London.


Studies with nicotine chewing gum and nicotine skin patches indicate that nicotine replacement can help people to give up smoking. The rapidity with which nicotine is absorbed when given as a nasal spray suggests that it might be effective for those for whom the other means of replacement are too slow. The efficacy and safety of a nasal nicotine spray as an adjunct to group treatment for stopping smoking were assessed in a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in which 227 cigarette smokers attending the Maudsley Hospital Smokers Clinic received 4 weeks of supportive group treatment plus active nicotine (0.5 mg per shot) or placebo nasal spray. The main end-point was biochemically validated complete abstinence from smoking from the third week of group treatment until the 12-month follow-up. Side-effects were assessed by self-reports and, where necessary, by physical examination. Of subjects assigned to active treatment 26% (n = 30) were validated abstinent throughout the year, compared with 10% (n = 11) of those assigned to placebo (relative abstinence rate 2.6, 95% CI 1.5-4.5, p less than 0.001). The advantage of the active spray was greatest in the heaviest smokers. Plasma nicotine concentrations from the spray were typically between one-half and three-quarters of baseline smoking levels. Tobacco-withdrawal symptoms, craving for cigarettes, and weight gain in abstinent subjects were reduced by the active spray. Minor irritant side-effects were frequent in both active and placebo sprays, but only 2 subjects had the spray discontinued as a result. No serious adverse effects were encountered. Nasal nicotine spray combined with supportive group treatment is an effective aid to smoking cessation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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