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NRT ‘not effective’ for smoking cessation, research finds

By Elizabeth Smythe

A new study has discovered that Nicotine Replacement Therapies (NRT) are not effective long-term smoking cessation methods, The Telegraph reports.

The products, which include patches, inhalers, nasal sprays and gum, were investigated by researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Massachusetts, who followed the progress of nearly 800 recent quitters over three time periods.

They found that there was no significant difference in relapse rates among those who had used NRT and those who had not. Similarly, there was no difference in success rates.

However, according to Metro, heavy smokers who used NRT without professional therapy were “twice as likely to relapse”.

Lead author, Hillel Alpert said: “This study shows that using NRT is no more effective in helping people stop smoking cigarettes in the long-term than trying to quit on one’s own.”

Giving up smoking is by no means an easy undertaking. In most cases it is a habitual behaviour that is hard to change, something NRT cannot tackle.

Fortunately, stop smoking hypnosis can be extremely effective, employing cognitive behavioural therapy to reprogramme the unconscious mind and change those ingrained habits. An additional benefit is that this method is nicotine free.

Mr Alpert continued: “Some heavily-dependent smokers perceive nicotine replacement therapy as a sort of “magic pill”. Upon realising it is not, they find themselves without support in their quitting efforts, doomed to failure.”

As a result of the study findings, the researchers are calling for greater regulation of over-the-counter NRT products and for more empirical research. Mr Alpert also suggested that using public money to fund the provision of NRT was now “of questionable value.”

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