PARSIPPANY, N.J., July 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Nearly half of all smokers in the United States attempt to quit at least once per year, yet the majority of these efforts fail. One factor contributing to the low annual rate of successful cessation is that the majority of quit attempts are made without evidence-based treatment such as nicotine replacement therapy (NRT).Despite doubling a smoker’s chance of quitting, cessation aids are still infrequently used. Findings from a study appearing in a recent issue of the journal Addictive Behaviors demonstrate that there are widely held misperceptions about the health effects of using NRT, and that correcting these misperceptions may increase NRT use and thereby reduce smoking rates.
The study, which was fielded in partnership by GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare (GSK) and Legacy®, reported that smokers are misinformed about the safety and efficacy of smoking cessation aids. Specifically, 93 percent of smokers did not know smoking while wearing the nicotine patch does not cause heart attacks. In addition, 76 percent of smokers did not know nicotine patch, gum and lozenge are not as addictive as cigarettes. Further, 69 percent of smokers did not know NRT products are not as harmful as cigarettes.
However, the study found that education could increase smokers’ consideration of NRT use. Specifically, more than half of those who were interested in quitting reported they would be more likely to use NRT if they were shown accurate safety information.
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