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

Published: February, 2010

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.

To continue reading this article, you must log in.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise

New subscriptions to Harvard Health Online are temporarily unavailable. Click the button below to learn about our other subscription offers.

Learn More »