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March 3, 1989

Nicotine vs Placebo Gum in General Medical Practice

JAMA. 1989;261(9):1300-1305. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420090064032

Three hundred fifteen smokers who attended a family practice clinic and wished to quit smoking were assigned in a random, double-blind manner to receive either nicotine (2 mg) or placebo gum. Smokers initially received brief advice from a physician and nurse, a slide presentation and written materials (29 to 35 minutes), and a single follow-up visit (12 to 20 minutes) one week after cessation. After corrections for marital status and income, 10% of those who received nicotine gum and 7% of those who received placebo gum reported continuous abstinence for 11 months and passed observer and biochemical verification (this difference was not statistically significant). We conclude that, when used in a nonselected group of smokers along with a brief intervention in a general medical practice, the pharmacologic effects of nicotine gum to increase cessation are either small or nonexistent.

(JAMA 1989;261:1300-1305)