Novel nicotine inhaler doubles smoking quit rates

May 17, 2016, University of Otago

A study by researchers at the University of Otago, Wellington shows that smokers who used a nicotine inhaler were twice as likely to quit smoking as smokers using a placebo inhaler.

The researchers developed and tested a novel nicotine inhaler to see whether it helps to quit . Participants in the study were randomly assigned to receive either a nicotine inhaler plus a nicotine patch, or a placebo inhaler plus a nicotine patch.

The results of the New Zealand study funded by the Health Research Council have been published today in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research.

Study team leader Professor Julian Crane from the University of Otago, Wellington, says the findings are the first evidence that inhaled nicotine from a simple standard inhaler is highly effective and substantially increases a smoker's chances of quitting compared to the best current nicotine replacement treatment.

"Currently most smokers use to help them stop smoking. This study shows that if you add a nicotine inhaler to a nicotine patch, it doubles the chances of quitting over a nicotine patch alone," says Professor Crane.

Although there is considerable interest in the use of e-cigarettes to help smokers give up tobacco, many countries, including New Zealand, are hesitant to introduce these to the market especially as they are largely unregulated and untested.

"There is considerable debate about whether inhaled nicotine is helpful for people who wish to stop smoking," says Professor Crane.

"This is the first study to show that inhaled nicotine from a metered dose inhaler in the context of a smoker wanting to stop doubles their chances of quitting."

The nicotine inhaler gives a metered dose of nicotine and offers an alternative therapeutic option for inhaled using a standard device that has been used for many decades for treatment of asthma.

"But unlike electronic cigarettes, the inhaler has no physical associations to smoking itself," he says.

"It also has benefits in that it is much less likely to be used inappropriately to administer other drugs given that it is a completely sealed unit," notes Professor Crane.

"New Zealand has been a world leader in tobacco control public policy and this new home-grown development offers a world-first opportunity to help the 80% or more of smokers who want to quit achieve their aims," he says.

The researchers are currently looking at how to make the inhaler available to all smokers who would like to use it.

Explore further: Smokers with depression try to quit more often but find it harder

More information: Brent O. Caldwell et al. Combination Nicotine Metered Dose Inhaler and Nicotine Patch for Smoking Cessation: A Randomized Controlled Trial, Nicotine & Tobacco Research (2016). DOI: 10.1093/ntr/ntw093

Related Stories

Smokers with depression try to quit more often but find it harder

February 18, 2016
People diagnosed with depression are about twice as likely to smoke as the general population. A survey of 6811 participants from Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the USA, published today in the scientific journal ...

'Cool' factor separates e-cigarettes from nicotine inhalers

June 3, 2014
Why are e-cigarettes so popular among Americans who want to quit smoking, even though so little is known about their safety or effectiveness? The answer lies in their marketing – they are simply "cooler" than nicotine inhalers. ...

New method measures nicotine delivery from e-cigarettes

March 22, 2016
The effectiveness of e-cigarettes as a smoking substitute will likely rely on whether they can consistently provide the amount of nicotine a smoker needs to resist the desire to return to traditional cigarettes.

Progressively reducing the nicotine content of cigarettes may not lead smokers to quit

July 22, 2015
The US Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, passed in 2009, permits the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to set standards for cigarette nicotine content. The FDA is accordingly supporting research into ...

New report shows electronic cigarettes are beneficial to UK public health

April 27, 2016
Electronic cigarettes have the potential to contribute to reducing death and disability caused by Britain's biggest killer, say experts in The BMJ today.

Mailed nicotine patches, with no behavioral support, is associated with smoking cessation

January 25, 2016
Mailing free nicotine patches to smokers, without any behavioral support, does help some of them quit, according to a study by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).

Recommended for you

Study compares athlete and truck driver, identical twins

July 20, 2018
When it comes to being fit, are genes or lifestyle—nature or nurture—more important? Researchers at San Francisco State University, CSU Fullerton and Cal Poly, Pomona removed the nature part of the equation by studying ...

Secondhand smoke causing thousands of still births in developing countries

July 20, 2018
The study reveals that more than 40% of all pregnant women in Pakistan are exposed to secondhand smoke—causing approximately 17,000 still births in a year.

Eating iron-fortified grain improves students' attention, memory

July 18, 2018
Adolescent students in a rural school in India who consumed an iron-biofortified version of the grain pearl millet exhibited improved attention and memory compared to those who consumed conventional pearl millet, according ...

Vaping tied to blood clots—in mice

July 18, 2018
A new study involving mice raises another concern about the danger of e-cigarettes in humans after experiments showed that short-term exposure to the device's vapors appeared to increase the risk of clot formation.

Lowering hospitals' Medicare costs proves difficult

July 18, 2018
A payment system that provides financial incentives for hospitals that reduce health-care costs for Medicare patients did not lower costs as intended, according to a new study led by Washington University School of Medicine ...

People who tan in gyms tan more often, and more addictively, than others, new research shows

July 18, 2018
Gyms are places people go to get healthier. But nearly half the gyms in the U.S. contain a potentially addictive carcinogen—tanning beds, report UConn researchers in the July 18 issue of JAMA Dermatology.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.