Nicotine Replacement Studies Funded By Drug Companies Over Estimate Results

Harley Street Stop Smoking Clinic
9 February 2010

Smokers desperate to quit shouldn't rely on expensive patches and gums, researchers said last night. A review of hundreds of studies into smoking cessation has revealed that the overwhelming majority of ex-smokers gave up without resorting to nicotine replacement therapies. Old-fashioned willpower alone was enough to make them quit their habit.

What is more, studies which extol the virtues of nicotine patches, gums and pills are more than twice as likely to have been funded by drug companies than others, the Australian researchers said. Simon Chapman, a professor of public health, said that governments were also guilty of medicalising smoking cessation and of making giving up sound harder than it actually is.

The Sydney University team's analysis of 511 studies on quitting smoking published in recent years showed that 51 per cent of trials funded by drug companies found nicotine replacement therapies such as patches and gums to be of 'significant' benefit - compared with just 22 per cent of independent studies.

Writing in the journal PLoS Medicine, the professor said 'Next time you hear the message that various drugs "double the quit rate", understand that these results come from clinical trials where participants get their drugs free, where they are often called up with reminders and questions, where they develop relationships with the researchers and often want to please them, and where we know that many using the active drug are able to correctly guess they are on it or on the dummy drug. 'Studies of the use of quit drugs in "real world" settings have not demonstrated that they have such success.

'A serious attempt at stopping need not involve using nicotine replacement therapy or other drugs.' The professor, who has received drug company funding in the past, said that although his review focused on nicotine replacement therapies, he also has concerns about the value of medicines such as Champix and Zyban which work by cutting nicotine cravings.

 It is alarming to see that the trials by drug companies have a much higher success rate than independent studies.  At the London stop smoking clinic, we do not advocate using any drug or nicotine replacement therapy.  We stop clients smoking using advanced hypnosis, which has been proven to be the most effective treatment to stop smoking.  The Harley Street Stop Smoking Clinic stops hundreds of clients smoking every year.  By focusing solely on stop smoking clients we have a vast knowledge of the issues surrounding quitting smoking and therefore have very good success rates.  Become a non smoker today and speak to the Harley Street Stop Smoking Clinic for stop smoking hypnotherapy London. 

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