Home > Nicotine replacement therapy versus control for smoking cessation.

Hartmann-Boyce, Jamie and Chepkin, Samantha C and Ye, Weiyu and Bullen, Chris and Lancaster, Tim (2018) Nicotine replacement therapy versus control for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 5, DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD000146.pub5.

External website: https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/1...

Background: We reviewed the evidence about whether NRT helps people who want to quit smoking to stop smoking at six months or longer. NRT aims to reduce withdrawal symptoms associated with stopping smoking by replacing the nicotine from cigarettes. NRT is available as skin patches that deliver nicotine slowly, and chewing gum, nasal and oral sprays, inhalators, and lozenges/tablets, all of which deliver nicotine to the brain more quickly than skin patches, but less rapidly than from smoking cigarettes.

Study characteristics: This review includes 136 trials of NRT, with 64,640 people in the main analysis. All studies were conducted in people who wanted to quit smoking. Most studies were conducted in adults and had similar numbers of men and women. Six studies were conducted in pregnant women. People enrolled in the studies typically smoked at least 15 cigarettes a day at the start of the studies. The evidence is current to July 2017. Trials lasted for at least six months, except for two in pregnant women which ended at the time of delivery.

Key results: We found evidence that all forms of NRT made it more likely that a person's attempt to quit smoking would succeed. The chances of stopping smoking were increased by 50% to 60%. NRT works with or without additional counselling, and does not need to be prescribed by a doctor. Side effects from using NRT are related to the type of product, and include skin irritation from patches and irritation to the inside of the mouth from gum and tablets. There is no evidence that NRT increases the risk of heart attacks. In pregnant women, evidence suggests that NRT can increase the chance of quitting at the time of delivery.

Quality of evidence: The overall quality of the evidence is high, meaning that further research is very unlikely to change our conclusions.

Item Type
Publication Type
International, Guideline, Review, Article
Drug Type
Tobacco / Nicotine
Intervention Type
Drug therapy
May 2018
Identification #
DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD000146.pub5
John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
Place of Publication
Accession Number
HRB (Not in collection)

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