Ni­co­tine preload­ing

Irish Independent - Health & Living - - UPDATE -

THERE is in­suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence to show that us­ing ni­co­tine patches for four weeks be­fore a quit at­tempt — known as “preload­ing” — im­proves long-term smok­ing ab­sti­nence.

The news will be of in­ter­est to the one in five adults in Ire­land who are smok­ers, and who want to quit.

The re­searchers found that ni­co­tine preload­ing re­duces crav­ing in­ten­sity and seems to make quit­ting eas­ier, but that this ben­e­fi­cial ef­fect may have been masked by a con­cur­rent re­duc­tion in the use of vareni­cline in the pe­riod af­ter quit day.

As vareni­cline is the most ef­fec­tive smok­ing ces­sa­tion drug, this may have un­der­mined the ben­e­fit of preload­ing, the Bri­tish Med­i­cal Jour­nal re­ported.

If it were pos­si­ble to over­come this un­in­tended con­se­quence, ni­co­tine preload­ing “could lead to a worth­while in­crease in long -term smok­ing ab­sti­nence”, they say.

Although there have been sev­eral new drugs for to­bacco ces­sa­tion since the 1970s, treat­ment has re­mained largely the same, with be­havioural sup­port to mo­ti­vate and strengthen a per­son’s re­solve to re­main ab­sti­nent and drugs to re­duce the strength of urges to smoke af­ter quit day. The re­search team from the Bri­tish Cen­tre for To­bacco and Al­co­hol Stud­ies looked at 1,792 ni­co­tine-de­pen­dent adults who smoked an av­er­age of 19 ci­garettes a day. Most were mid­dle aged.

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