Airway sensory replacement combined with nicotine replacement for smoking cessation. A randomized, placebo-controlled trial using a citric acid inhaler.
STUDY OBJECTIVE: This study was conducted to determine if the combination of airway sensory replacement and nicotine replacement improves 10-week smoking abstinence rates over nicotine replacement alone. DESIGN: Double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. SETTING: Outpatient research clinic. PARTICIPANTS: One hundred healthy volunteers who smoked at least one pack of cigarettes per day and desired to quit smoking. INTERVENTIONS: Subjects received either citric acid (n = 41) or lactose placebo (n = 59) inhalers to cope with smoking urges for 10 weeks. All subjects received self-help materials and nicotine patches for 6 weeks. Return visits were at weeks 1, 4, 6, and 10. Abstinence was defined as zero cigarettes smoked since the quit date verified by exhaled carbon monoxide < or = 8 ppm at all return visits. Inhaler effects were measured by a standardized questionnaire. MEASUREMENTS AND RESULTS: The primary outcome of continuous abstinence at the end of the 10-week treatment period was 19.5% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 7.4 to 31.6%) for the citric acid group vs 6.8% (95% CI = 0.4 to 13.2%) for the lactose group (p = 0.05). Relief from craving and short-term abstinence increased as airway sensations from the inhaler also increased. Abstinence at 10 weeks for subjects receiving strong airway sensations from the inhalers was 33.3% (95% CI = 14.5 to 52.1%). At 6 months, there was no difference in abstinence between the treatment groups (0% vs 5.1%, p = 0.20). CONCLUSIONS: When combined with the nicotine patch, the citric acid inhaler improved 10-week smoking abstinence over lactose inhaler. The combination of airway sensory replacement and nicotine replacement may prove beneficial for smoking cessation.
Westman, EC; Behm, FM; Rose, JE
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