NRT - Failure rate of 98.4%
|British Medical Journal Response||
29 Apr 2009
Commenting on the British Medical Journal into the effectiveness of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT).
It appears to me that the conclusions of this paper are highly slanted. With a long-term smoking cessation percentage of only 1.6%, one can hardly call NRT treatment an "effective" intervention in this situation. Even though the 1.6% abstinence rate is better than the 0.4% achieved with placebo, how can one call the 1.6% success rate with NRT to be "effective?"
In fact, the logical conclusion from this paper is that NRT was a dismal intervention. The overwhelming majority of smokers - 98.4% - failed to achieve long-term sustained abstinence with NRT treatment.
Given the presence of a financial conflict of interest with a pharmaceutical company that manufactures nicotine replacement products, it certainly has the appearance that this conflict has biased the interpretation of the findings and the study conclusion.
I can't quite think of another intervention for which a 98.4% failure rate would be considered a success.
Michael Siegel, Professor Boston University School of Public Health,
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