Smokers who are concerned about their health and want to end their addiction to cigarettes have spent hundreds of dollars on nicotine patches and gum to make it easier to put cigarettes aside. Now a new study comes along that tells us, it doesn’t work. Those who use these products are no better off than those who quite cold turkey. And worse yet the appointed panel who approved the nicotine patches were paid by the product manufacture.
Does the nicotine patch work? No it doesn’t. That’s the word from the latest studies. 2,000 smokers who used the nicotine patch and those who did not, were followed for several years as part of the program. Nicotine patches have sold like hot cakes since medical studies promoted them as being of value in kicking the smoking habit.
That study was the basis of the federal guidelines recommendations for smokers who wanted to give up cigarettes. The patches were approved for over the counter sale in 1997, and in some states Medicaid paid for them.
Harvard’s Center for Global Tobacco Control and co author of the study program said, “We were hoping for a very different story. I ran a treatment program for years, and we invested $6 million in treatment services.” He also added that patients compliance was a big issue. The market for nicotine patches is big business, earning more than $800 million annually.
Medical studies which the public trusted touted the product and made the manufactures millions. A government appointed panel approved the nicotine patches as part of federal guidelines for treatment. Now the kicker, It has been discovered that the approving panel received pay from the product’s manufacture. That little bit of information tells the tale.
The recent study which determined that the patches do not work followed smokers who were quitting on their own and those using nicotine patches. The participants were interviewed three times. Once in 2001 or 2002, again in 2003 or 2004, and finally in 2005 or 2006.
Interviewers asked the survey group about their use of patches, gums and any other products, their relapses and abstinence. It was found that replacements products made no difference whether any were taken, or if taken in a six week program, or with the guidance of a counselor. About one third of all smokers relapsed.
So those of you who are considering quitting cigarettes might as well save your money to buy sugarless gum and candy. Anything to take take your mind off a cigarette. It wont cost you nearly as much money as nicotine patches and might be more helpful.