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Low-Dose Nicotine Patches help Quitters

Posted - Feb. 19, 2004 at 2:40 p.m.



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RICHMOND, Va., Feb 19, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Low-dose nicotine patches may be just as effective has higher-dose patches in curbing smoking addiction, U.S. scientists say.

The patches are applied to the skin and release small but constant amounts of nicotine into the body to help smokers relieve some of the withdrawal symptoms they typically experience when they quit smoking.

In four sessions of 6.5 hours each, researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University studied 66 smokers, ages 18-55, who had reported smoking daily for the past two years.

Smokers who used the higher-dose patches had higher heart rates and levels of nicotine in their blood.

However, there was very little difference in cigarette craving levels when smokers were given patches of different doses, although higher levels of cravings were observed when smokers were given patches with no nicotine.

"Our data so far are showing that the higher doses are not necessarily better at suppressing withdrawal, at least over the short-term," said Thomas Eissenberg, associate professor of psychology and head of VCU's Clinical Behavioral Pharmacology Laboratory.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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