Smoking cessation: new Cochrane review


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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A new Cochrane review has found that combination nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) may be more effective for smoking cessation than a single form of NRT. 

In reaching their conclusions, researchers examined data from 63 trials including 41,509 participants. They found high‐certainty evidence that combination NRT (fast‐acting form in addition to patch) results in higher long‐term quit rates than the single form of NRT (risk ratio [RR] 1.25, 95% CI 1.15-1.36; 14 studies; 11,356 participants; I2 = 4%). 

Quit rates were higher with 21 mg patches than 14 mg (24‐hour) patches, and using 25 mg patches resulted in higher quit rates than using 15 mg (16‐hour) patches. Meanwhile, 42/44 mg patches were as effective as 21/22 mg (24‐hour) patches. The results also suggest that using 4 mg nicotine gum results in higher quit rates than using 2 mg nicotine gum. 

The review found forms of fast‐acting NRT, such as gum and lozenge, are as effective as nicotine patches. 

The researchers also identified moderate-certainty evidence that using NRT prior to quitting may improve quit rates versus using it from quit date only, but said further research is needed in this area.