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Relapse after tobacco dependence treatment is common
Behavioural and pharmacological treatment for tobacco dependence typically lasts 6–12 weeks. Unfortunately, the majority of smokers relapse within 3 months of treatment. Abstinence rates at the end of treatment are consistently approximately double long-term abstinence rates (6 or 12 months after quit date and off medication), so there is considerable interest in whether we stop pharmacological treatment prematurely and whether prolonged treatment might increase long-term abstinence.
Extended transdermal nicotine therapy increases short- but not long-term abstinence
Schnoll and colleagues describe a rigorous double-blind, placebo-controlled randomised trial of transdermal nicotine for 8 versus 24 weeks in adult smokers.1 In addition to medication, all participants received eight sessions of behavioural counselling from 2 weeks before the quit date to 20 weeks …
Competing interests None.
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