Study shows promise for smokers trying to quit

The use of the antidepressant, sustained release (SR) bupropion, triples quit rates among women and smokers with a history of depression as compared to placebo, according to a new study just published in Nicotine and Tobacco Research by researchers at the Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention. Historically, women and formerly depressed smokers are at particularly high risk of relapse.

Study says nicotine patches effective without direct counseling

Nearly 20 percent of smokers using an over-the-counter nicotine patch in a new study were able to quit smoking entirely after six weeks, compared to only 7 percent of smokers using a dummy patch. Each group reported only mild side effects from patch use, like rashes or insomnia. None of the smokers received any direct instruction on how to use the patch or got behavioral counseling to help them quit smoking, which suggests that nicotine patches used in an over-the-counter manner can be safe and effective, say the study authors. The study was supported by GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, which markets the NicoDerm CQ patch.

Smoking reduction strategies show success

People who use nicotine replacement products like skin patches, gum and inhalers while continuing to smoke can cut their daily cigarette consumption almost in half, according to a new study. Using data from 11 previous studies of nicotine replacement products, Swedish researcher Karl Olov Fagerstr?m and colleagues calculated an approximate 50 percent drop in daily cigarette consumption among smokers across all the studies. The individuals also reduced their exposure to harmful carbon monoxide, a toxic smoking byproduct, by 30 percent.

Additive-free cigarettes may pack more toxic punch

Despite perceptions that additive-free cigarettes and the hand-rolled cigarettes from India called bidis may provide a less-toxic smoke than conventional cigarettes, new research suggests the opposite may be true. For the study, researchers asked 10 volunteers to smoke an unfiltered, additive-free American Spirit cigarette, a strawberry-flavored bidi, a non-flavored bidi and one of the participants’ own preferred brands of conventional cigarette. Results showed that two minutes after smoking the unfiltered, additive-free American Spirit cigarette or either type of bidi, participants’ plasma nicotine levels were significantly higher than when they smoked their own cigarettes. The high nicotine levels lasted longest with the American Spirit cigarette. Study results are published in the December issue of Nicotine & Tobacco Research.