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BALTIMORE, Dec 16, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Johns Hopkins University researchers say distributing free nicotine patches increased participation in a Maryland smoking cessation program.
The study with the Washington County health department noted 27 percent more people stopped smoking during the first six months of the program.
The study is published in the December 2004 issue of Addictive Behaviors.
"Nicotine replacement therapy has really changed tobacco control efforts in a good way. It is clear that if smokers use nicotine replacement therapy longer, they have a better success rate," said Anthony J. Alberg, lead author of the study.
The study done from 1995 through 2003 compared quit rates and abstinence from smoking before and after free nicotine patches were offered to smokers.
During the program, study participants received six weeks of patches and four weeks of group counseling, free of charge.
"We know that no matter how long smokers have smoked, when they quit, it prolongs their lives," Alberg said.
Copyright 2004 by United Press International.