Nicotine therapy may work better on men: study
A new study suggests women have a harder time butting out than men. Researchers in Texas report men have an easier time quitting smoking with the help of nicotine replacements than women do.
The study from researchers at Texas A&M University suggests that when men and women try to quit smoking using nicotine replacements, such as nicotine patches or gum, they initially have the same success rate. But over the long term, stop-smoking aids tend to having a more lasting effect on men than on women.
The study looked at 21 other studies conducted on smokers trying to quit. They found that nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) was found to work twice as well than the placebo for men than women. As a result, men who quit using NRT were more likely than women to be abstinent 12 months later.
But women can quit successfully, the researchers found, if they stay on the program and combine it with comprehensive therapy.
The study, led by Antonio Cepeda-Benito, says women were found to be twice as likely to stay clean if they combined nicotine replacements with comprehensive therapy.
In a second study, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine found that the nicotine patch seems to work as well, at least initially, for teens as it does for adults. In addition, the nicotine patch worked equally well with or without supplementation by an anti-depressant given to the teens.
The study may be the first randomized controlled trial of drug therapy to help teens stop smoking. Led by psychologist Dr. Joel Killen, researchers randomly assigned 211 smokers, ages 15 to 18, into one of the two treatment groups: a nicotine patch plus the antidepressant drug bupropion (Zyban) or a nicotine patch plus a placebo.
At the end of 10 weeks of treatment, 28 per cent of the teens who got the patch and skills training had stopped smoking completely â€“ similar to initial quit rates achieved by the nicotine patch in studies of adult smokers and substantially higher than quit rates in previous treatment studies with adolescent smokers.
The addition of buproprion appeared to make no difference: Twenty-three percent of teens who received bupropion and nicotine patch stopped smoking by the end of treatment.
However, adult smokers appear better at maintaining abstinence in the longer term. At a 26-week (six month) follow-up, only seven per cent of teen smokers in the trial were completely abstinent.
The studies are published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.