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Better Way to Quit

December 3, 2007

Free Nicotine Patches Plus Phone Counseling Prompts More Smokers to Quit

Smoking cessation rates doubled when quit-line callers were given free nicotine patches in addition to counseling, researchers found.

Calls to a smoking cessation hotline increased 112% when, in addition to a 30-minute telephone counseling session, callers were given a two-week supply of transdermal nicotine patches, said Jeffrey Fellows, Ph.D., of the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research here, and colleagues.

Quit rates also improved from 8.2% with counseling alone to 15.7% with the patches plus counseling, they reported in a December supplement to the journal Tobacco Control.

In a separate randomized trial, more than 21% of smokers quit when they received intensive counseling plus nicotine patches, versus 11.7% among smokers who received a single brief counseling session and no patches.

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