Three different therapies helped one-fourth of people kick the habit
For people trying to stop smoking, the how might not really matter.
Six months after quitting, only about one in four people still abstained from smoking — regardless of whether they used a nicotine patch, twice daily varenicline (a pill that cuts cravings) or a combo nicotine lozenge and patch to quit, researchers report in the Jan. 26 JAMA.
The study’s authors randomly split 1,086 cigarette smokers into three groups for 12 weeks of treatment. To confirm smoking status, the team relied on daily self-reported surveys and carbon monoxide testing six months and one year after treatment. Previous studies had suggested that varenicline and the combo therapy were better than the patch at helping people kick the habit.
Not so, the authors of the new research suggest: The three therapies were equally effective. The study is the first to compare all three head-to-head (to head).