Mailing free nicotine replacement patches to smokers who are interested in giving up cigarettes can help some of them quit, a new study finds.
The smokers in the study did not receive counseling or other support, HealthDay reports.
Researchers sent a five-week course of nicotine patches to 500 smokers. After six months, the rate of participants who said they hadn’t smoked in the past month was more than double the rate of 499 smokers who did not receive free nicotine patches. About half of participants returned saliva samples, which researchers tested to confirm they had stopped smoking.
The rates of smoking cessation in both groups were low—2.8 percent among those receiving patches, compared with 1 percent among those who didn’t receive the patches.