Reuters HealthDay reported on November 19, 2006 on a study orginally reported in the journal, Nicotine and Tobacco Research, which found that starting nicotine patches two weeks before the cessation date increases the liklihood of people quitting smoking.
Giving nicotine patches a two-week "head start" more than doubles the chances they'll help smokers kick the habit, research finds.
A U.S. team found that by applying the patch 14 days before that last cigarette, users greatly boosted their long-term success rate.
The initial study was published earlier this year in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research, and a second trial has now replicated those findings, according to Jed E. Rose, medical research professor and director of Duke University's Center for Nicotine Cessation Research. He led the original study and is co-inventor of the nicotine patch.
One concern for some experts was that wearing a patch while still smoking might prove too toxic, or actually boost addiction by putting more nicotine in the body.
Not true, Rose said. "We have also found in the recent studies that the success rate is double even when smokers switched to a low nicotine or de-nicotinized cigarettes during the two week pre-cessation treatment period, and this procedure further allays any concerns about the possibility of nicotine overdose."