Nicotine skin patch treatment increases abstinence, decreases withdrawal symptoms, and attenuates rewarding effects of smoking.
A variety of studies have shown that nicotine skin patches are effective in promoting smoking cessation. This study replicated this effect, in addition, nicotine skin patches were found to decrease a variety of withdrawal effects, including craving for cigarettes, negative affect, hypoarousal, and increased appetite. This study also assessed the depressive symptoms shown by smokers before and after they quit smoking. Control subjects showed a significant increase in depressive symptoms after smoking cessation, whereas the subjects given the nicotine skin patch were not as affected. If the subjects slipped and smoked a cigarette during the time they were wearing the patch, they were asked to rate the effects of that cigarette. These "slip" cigarettes were rated significantly lower in satisfaction and good taste by subjects in the nicotine patch group than by controls. The nicotine skin patch may improve smoking cessation rates both by reducing nicotine withdrawal effects and by reducing the reward of slips back to smoking. This latter effect may prove to be effective in preventing slips from turning into relapses.
Levin, ED; Westman, EC; Stein, RM; Carnahan, E; Sanchez, M; Herman, S; Behm, FM; Rose, JE
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