Cigarette makers shifted stance on nicotine patches, gum, study shows

The use of nicotine patches, gum, lozenges, inhalers or nasal sprays — together called “nicotine replacement therapy,” or NRT — came into play in 1984 as prescription medicine, which when combined with counseling, helped smokers quit. But in 1996, at the urging of pharmaceutical companies, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allowed those products to be sold over-the-counter.

Now, a new study conducted by scientists at UC San Francisco reports that tobacco companies have known for decades that, without counseling, NRT hardly ever works, and that consumers often use it to complement smoking. This insight from the formerly secret industry documents known as the “Tobacco Papers” reveals why companies that once viewed nicotine patches and gum as a threat to their cigarette sales now embrace them as a business opportunity, the researchers said.

Full story at Science Daily

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Will Savage

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