Use Nicotine Patches Longer For Maximum Benefit, Study Suggests


A new study finds that extended use of nicotine patches makes you both more likely to quit and less likely to resume smoking in the future.

The Study

568 adults smokers took part in a study comparing extended nicotine patch therapy and standard therapy. The extended therapy group wore nicotine patches for 24 weeks, while the standard therapy group wore nicotine patches for 8 weeks and placebo patches for the next 16 weeks. The results showed that people in the extended therapy group were almost twice as likely to quit smoking, were able to abstain from smoking longer, and were more likely to quit again after suffering a relapse.

What Does This Mean?

While the standard 8-week therapy is probably what your box of nicotine patches recommends, this new study suggests that a longer course of therapy may be beneficial to some smokers trying to quit. According to study author Robert Schnoll, an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, "Our data suggest that the many smokers who relapse while trying to quit will be especially helped by extended treatment, which appears to make it easier for smokers to 'get back on the wagon' after a small smoking slip, instead of having it turn into a full-blown relapse."


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