March 1989

Reduction of Cigarette Smoking by Use of a Nicotine Patch

Author Affiliations

Veterans Administration Medical Center West Los Angeles Brentwood Division Los Angeles, CA 90073

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1989;46(3):289. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1989.01810030095014

To the Editor.—  A pilot study that suggests that cigarette smoking by hospitalized psychiatric patients can be reduced through the use of a transdermal nicotine patch was performed at the Treatment Refractory Unit of the Veterans Administration Medical Center West Los Angeles.

Subjects and Methods.—  Three moderate smokers (one to two packs per day for at least ten years) gave informed consent for participation in the following single-blind study. In two separate seven-hour procedures, one week apart, 24 μL of either a solution containing 30% nicotine base or water (the control) was applied to the nondominant forearm and covered by a 3-cm-square patch of polyethylene wrap, secured at the edges by surgical tape. This type of patch was used in a previous study of nicotine titration using a smoke-mixing apparatus.1The solutions were administered at 9 AM, and patients were provided with unlimited access to a standard popular

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