A recent study has finally confirmed that smokers have more success quitting when they use nicotine patches or prescription medications in their efforts.
Karin Kasza, the study leader, wrote in conclusion:
“Smokers in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and the United States are more likely to succeed in quit attempts when they use drugs or nicotine patches.”
The study surveyed more than 7,000 adult smokers in the U.S., Britain, Canada and Australia, discussing their previous attempts to drop the habit. The study then researched who had managed to stay smoke-free for at least six months. Around 2,200 of the participants used nicotine patches or prescription medications in their attempt, while the rest did not.
18% of the nicotine users, 15% of those who used antidepressants, and 19% of the varenicline users managed to stay away from cigarettes for at least half a year. In comparison, only 5% of those without medication managed to commit to their quitting attempts for the full 6 months.
The study also discovered that the successful, non-medicated smokers tended to be younger, healthier, less addicted to nicotine, and more confident. However, according to Reuters, “the study does not prove that the medications are responsible for the greater success in quitting, merely that people who use them are more likely to quit.”
Kasza’s report adds, “The disappointing reality is that even when people use these medications to help them quit, relapse is still the norm. It’s better than nothing, but it’s by no means a magic bullet.”