Clinical trials using ascorbic acid aerosol to aid smoking cessation.
Sensory aspects of cigarette smoke are important for providing smoking satisfaction. In previous studies, we have found that substitution of the sensory cues of smoking with a citric acid aerosol significantly reduces craving for cigarettes and enhances smoking reduction and cessation with people trying to quit smoking cigarettes. In the current study, we conducted two clinical smoking cessation trials using an ascorbic acid aerosol as a sensory substitute. The cigarette substitute consisted of a cigarette-sized tube which delivered a fine aerosol of ascorbic acid (approx. 1 mg/puff, up to a maximum of 300 mg/day). Study 1 examined the overall effectiveness of the ascorbic acid smoking substitute device. One group of subjects which used the device and received clinical counseling was compared with another group which received only clinical counseling. The group using the device showed significantly greater abstinence rates at 3 weeks post-cessation. After the subjects stopped using the device, no difference in abstinence was detected. Study 2 was conducted to focus specifically on the role of tracheobronchial sensations in relieving craving for cigarettes. Two closely matched ascorbic acid delivery systems were compared. One device delivered fine particles of ascorbic acid that were targeted to reach the trachea, while the other delivered coarser particles of ascorbic acid that were not expected to reach the trachea or lower airways. An initial enhancement in smoking reduction was found for subjects using the fine particle device relative to those using the coarse particle device. However, by the end of treatment (5 weeks) both groups showed similar degrees of smoking reduction. For those who were abstinent from smoking at the end of treatment, craving for cigarettes and negative mood were both significantly lower for those using the fine particle device. Also, hunger for food was significantly lower in the fine particle device group. These results suggest that ascorbic acid delivered from a cigarette substitute may be effective in reducing smoking and promoting smoking abstinence.
Levin, ED; Behm, F; Carnahan, E; LeClair, R; Shipley, R; Rose, JE
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