Harvard Mental Health Letter

In Brief: Combined nicotine replacement therapy provides best chance of smoking cessation

A federally funded study that compared five different medication strategies to help people stop smoking concluded that the combination of a nicotine patch and a nicotine lozenge was the most effective strategy.

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin enrolled 1,504 adults in this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Participants admitted to the 8-week intervention smoked at least 10 cigarettes (half a pack) per day. They were randomly assigned to one of six therapies: nicotine lozenge, nicotine patch, or bupropion (Zyban) alone, or the patch plus lozenge, bupropion plus lozenge, or placebo. (Another commonly used medication, varenicline [Chantix], was not included.) All participants also received six individual counseling sessions.

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