Nicotine is one of the most addictive substances known. After years of denying that cigarettes were harmful, the tobacco companies and a pharmaceutical company offer products to help people quit smoking. After extensive comparative studies, all of these cessation products were equally unsuccessful. Nicotine is a drug that has no medical value that should be put under schedule I on the FDA drug classification list as being addictive and having no medical use.
The results of a study comparing Chantix, nicotine patches and lozenges were released by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Network on Jan. 26, 2016. The study was led by Michael C. Fiore, MD of the University of Wisconsin Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention. The shortened title of the study is “Comparison of Smoking Cessation Therapies Finds Similar Quit Rates.” The summary results showed that the different cessation products had similar cessation rates at 26 and 52 weeks after completion of the 12 week trials. Varenicline is manufactured by Pfizer and sold under the trade name Chantix. Participants in the study were offered six counseling sessions. The full article can be purchased from the JAMA.
The researchers found that the treatments did not differ significantly on any abstinence outcome measure at 26 or 52 weeks, including point-prevalence abstinence at 26 weeks (nicotine patch, 23 percent; varenicline, 24 percent; C-NRT, 27 percent) or at 52 weeks (nicotine patch, 21 percent; varenicline, 19 percent; C-NRT, 20 percent). All medications were well tolerated, but varenicline produced more frequent adverse events than did the nicotine patch for vivid dreams, insomnia, nausea, constipation, sleepiness and indigestion.
To our knowledge, this open-label study is the first to directly contrast varenicline and C-NRT pharmacotherapies, both with one another and with the nicotine patch. Results showed no significant differences among these 3 pharmacotherapies in any of the 26- or 52-week abstinence measures.
Electronic cigarettes (e-cigs) were not included in the study. E-cigs have also been shown to be ineffective in stopping cigarette smoking. E-cigs are a documented gateway for minors and young adults to begin cigarette smoking. They have been marketed as an aid to smoking cessation, which formal studies have refuted. See that attached articles regarding use of e-cigs by minors and young adults, and the effectiveness of e-cigs in helping stop smoking.
Smoking cessation by the study methods had success rates around 20% at the end of a year. Over 65% of those smokers offered the opportunity to participate in the study declined. Most smokers do not want to quit; they are addicted to nicotine. It is obvious that smoking prevention is much more effective than smoking cessation. The FDA needs to act immediately to prohibit the sale, advertising and event sponsorship of electronic cigarettes to minors and young adults.
Contact your Senator and Representative to voice support for the FDA to stop the sales, marketing and promotion of electronic cigarettes to minors and young adults. If you are an Ohio reader, Senator Sherrod Brown and Senator Rob Portman are your contacts regarding tobacco issues. In central Ohio, Representative Steve Stivers, Representative Pat Tiberi and Representative Joyce Beatty are your contacts on this issue. Write or call your senator or representative to tell them that the FDA needs to move immediately on stopping sale of electronic cigarettes to minors. The FDA is still getting comments. You can rest assured that most comments are coming from the tobacco industry and other e-cig manufacturers. Express yourself.