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December 25, 2002

Effectiveness of Over-the-Counter Nicotine Replacement Therapy

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior Editor


Not Available

JAMA. 2002;288(24):3108. doi:10.1001/jama.288.24.3108-JLT1225-1-2

To the Editor: Although they may seem surprising, the results of Drs Pierce and Gilpin1 are actually consistent with the few published controlled "minimal intervention" efficacy studies of the nicotine patch.2,3 For example, my colleagues and I3 found that an active patch achieved 10% abstinence while a placebo patch achieved 12% abstinence at 48-week follow-up, a nonsignificant difference. All patients had received a total of about 15 minutes of behavioral counseling in what could be fairly characterized as a "patch alone" condition. We were surprised by the results. As scientists, however, we must find room for data that challenge strongly held beliefs.