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Nicotine Tob Res. 2007 Nov;9(11):1139-46.

Treating smokers before the quit date: can nicotine patches and denicotinized cigarettes reduce cravings?

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  • 1Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY, USA.


The present study investigated whether treatment with the combination of denicotinized cigarettes and 21-mg nicotine patch for 2 weeks before a designated quit date could lessen cravings for smoking, thereby helping smokers abstain from smoking. The study was a randomized controlled clinical trial conducted at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, New York, in 2004 and 2005. Patients included 98 adult heavy smokers (using 20 or more cigarettes/day). Half of the subjects received 2 weeks of combination of denicotinized cigarettes (Quest 3) and 21-mg nicotine patch for 2 weeks before the quit date. The remaining smokers were switched to light cigarettes (Quest 1) during the 2 weeks before the quit date. After the quit date, all subjects received counseling for smoking cessation and were provided nicotine patches for up to 8 weeks after the quit date. Self-reported cravings for smoking, withdrawal symptoms, and smoking abstinence were measured at predetermined intervals using phone-based surveys and in clinical visits. The group that used denicotinized cigarettes and nicotine patch before quitting reported less frequent and less intense cravings for cigarettes in the 2 weeks before and after the designated quit date. Self-reported withdrawal symptoms and quit rates did not differ significantly between the groups. The use of a denicotinized cigarette combined with the nicotine patch appears to lessen cravings to smoke in the immediate postcessation period. A larger, better-powered study is needed to test if this treatment combination has merit for increasing quit rates.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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