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Nicotine metabolism rates may impact success of smoking cessation treatments

Science Spotlight

January 12, 2015

person applying nicotine patch

A randomized clinical trial of smokers trying to quit found that the effectiveness of particular smoking cessation therapies might relate to how quickly their body metabolizes nicotine. The study compared success rates of the nicotine patch versus the prescription medication varenicline.

Among participants with “normal” nicotine metabolic rates, varenicline was significantly more effective than the nicotine patch in helping them refrain from smoking at the end of treatment and six months following treatment. For “slow” metabolizers, there was no difference in success rates between varenicline and the nicotine patch, however there were fewer side effects experienced by those who used the patch. Prescribers can use this information to inform smoking cessation recommendations based on individual patient profiles.

This research, published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, was funded by NIDA, NCINHGRI, and NIGMS. For a copy of the article, go to: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanres/article/PIIS2213-2600(14)70294-2/abstract.  For information on tobacco/nicotine research and trends, visit www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/tobacco-nicotine.

For more information, contact the NIDA press office at media@nida.nih.gov or 301-443-6245.

NIDA Press Office

About the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA): The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is a component of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIDA supports most of the world’s research on the health aspects of drug use and addiction. The Institute carries out a large variety of programs to inform policy, improve practice, and advance addiction science. Fact sheets on the health effects of drugs and information on NIDA research and other activities can be found at www.drugabuse.gov, which is now compatible with your smartphone, iPad or tablet. To order publications in English or Spanish, call NIDA’s DrugPubs research dissemination center at 1-877-NIDA-NIH or 240-645-0228 (TDD) or email requests to drugpubs@nida.nih.gov. Online ordering is available at drugpubs.drugabuse.gov. NIDA’s media guide can be found at www.drugabuse.gov/publications/media-guide/dear-journalist, and its easy-to-read website can be found at www.easyread.drugabuse.gov. You can follow NIDA on Twitter and Facebook.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation’s medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

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    NIDA. (2015, January 12). Nicotine metabolism rates may impact success of smoking cessation treatments. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/news-events/news-releases/2015/01/nicotine-metabolism-rates-may-impact-success-smoking-cessation-treatments

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