NRT no better than ‘cold turkey’

The research by the Harvard University School of Public Health followed 787 adults in the state of Massachusetts who had recently quit smoking, and found that over time just as many relapsed after nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) as without – about one third.

"This study shows that using NRT is no more effective in helping people stop smoking cigarettes in the long term than trying to quit on one's own," said lead author Hillel Alpert, a research scientist at Harvard.

Study participants were surveyed over three periods: 2001–2002, 2003–2004, and 2005–2006.

Not only were relapse rates about the same among those who used NRT and those who did not, the study found that heavily dependent smokers who took NRT without professional therapy were twice as likely to relapse as those who did not use NRT.

"This may indicate that some heavily dependent smokers perceive NRT as a sort of 'magic' pill, and upon realising it is