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Nicotine replacement therapy increases quit attempts among unmotivated smokers when added to encouragement to practice quitting
  1. Saul Shiffman
  1. Correspondence to Saul Shiffman
    Smoking Research Group, University of Pittsburgh, 130 Desoto St # A526, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA; shiffman{at}

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Smoking cessation is an urgent public health priority. Clinical interventions typically focus on improving outcomes for smokers trying to quit; encouraging quit attempts is often left to public education. In particular, nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is typically only given to smokers actively quitting. This study by Carpenter et al tested whether encouraging smokers who were not ready to quit by using NRT in a practice quit attempt (PQA) increases quit attempts.


Smokers (n=849) not interested in quitting within 30 days received three phone calls over 6 weeks, encouraging PQAs lasting for a few hours or a few days; the final call encouraged smokers to make a real quit attempt. Half the participants were randomised to additionally …

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  • Competing interests SS consults with GlaxoSmithKline exclusively on matters related to smoking cessation, and is a partner in a company trying to develop novel nicotine therapies.