Dec 13, 2012

Skip the Nicotine Patch. It Doesn't Work

At my annual physical today, I asked my doctor what she recommends for her patients who smoke.

She said "Chantix and NRT" (nicotine replacement therapy) such as the nicotine patch. She said the reason was because she practices "evidence-based medicine."

I wish she would read what Dr. Elizabeth Whelan, Dr. Ross and 12 of their esteemed colleagues from the American Cancer Society, Dartmouth, Cambridge, Boston University, Royal London Hospital and other leading instututions around the world say about the smoking cessation tools that have been approved by the FDA:

"There are 46 million addicted adult smokers in our nation. The problem remains that, while almost three-quarters wish to quit, well under ten percent succeed.

"One reason for this abysmal success rate is that the methods approved by the FDA (including the nicotine patch, gum, inhalers and pharmaceuticals such as Zyban and Chantix) and promoted by the official public health authorities and the large nonprofits, are simply not helpful to the majority of those who try them."

Getting the word out to doctors would be a herculean task. I know that. But my wish for today is that my own doctor would at least read the current research on the smoking cessation tools that clearly DON'T work.

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