|Institution:||University of Toronto|
|Keywords:||Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT); Population-based prospective cohort study; Smoking cessation|
|Full text PDF:||http://hdl.handle.net/1807/36077|
Background and Objectives: Little is known about the impact of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) use duration on smoking cessation in the general population. This study determines whether duration of NRT use is associated with smoking cessation. Methods: Data were from the Ontario Tobacco Survey longitudinal study of a population-based cohort of baseline smokers who made serious quit attempts during 18 months of follow-up. The association between NRT (any NRT, patches, or gum) use duration and smoking cessation outcomes (short-term abstinence ≥1 month and long-term abstinence ≥12 months) was estimated by Poisson regression, adjusting for all confounding variables. Results: Among the 1,590 eligible smokers, 933 (59%) did not use any NRT, 535 (34%) used NRT <8 weeks, and 112 (8%) used NRT ≥8 weeks at follow-up. The median duration of NRT use was 14 days. A consistent “J” shape of associations between quit aid use duration and smoking cessation outcomes (quit rates) was found. Using any NRT, patches, or gum <8 weeks was generally associated with a lower likelihood of quitting, but using them ≥8 weeks was generally associated with a higher likelihood of quitting, compared to not using them. Only using patches for the recommended duration (≥8 weeks) was associated with a higher likelihood of short-term (relative risk, RR 1.74, 95% confidence interval, CI 1.21-2.50) and long-term (RR 2.62, 95% CI 1.25-5.50) abstinence at the end of 18 months of follow-up, compared to not using patches. Using gum ≥8 weeks was not associated with short- or long-term abstinence at the end of 18 months of follow-up. Conclusions: Using nicotine patches for the recommended duration is associated with successful short- and long-term abstinence in the general population. More efforts are needed to encourage smokers to use nicotine patches for eight or more weeks when attempting to quit.