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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

To the Editor: Drs Pierce and Gilpin1 conclude that nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) has not increased smoking cessation rates since it became available over-the-counter. We do not believe that the authors can draw such efficacy conclusions from this nonrandomized, noncontrolled study.

Pierce and Gilpin compared users of NRT vs nonusers, but these may be different populations. Smokers who cannot quit on their own may be more likely to use NRT and thus are likely to be more dependent than those who attempt to quit without it. Stratification for the number of cigarettes smoked cannot correct for this.

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