Research Reveals NRT Isn’t Effective in Real Life – One More Reason to Try E-Cigs
The vast majority of vapers are former smokers that made multiple quit attempts before turning to e-cigarettes. When a smoker decides to finally kick the tobacco habit, they typically go through a series of attempts: patches, gums, and even medications are usually part of the process, but these efforts rarely seem to work. A new study from the Addiction Journal is finally explaining why nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is so ineffective in a real life situation. While all forms of NRT sound good at first, it turns out that they simply do not work unless they are combined with behavioral therapy.
During the recent study, researchers took data from 10,335 adult smokers that had tried to quit within the last year. They grouped the participants according to the quit methods they tried and found that people were using over-the-counter methods as well as prescription NRT like Chantix and Wellbutrin. They also saw some participants that tried the “cold turkey” approach to giving up cigarettes. Next, the researchers considered whether participants relied solely on NRT and “cold turkey” attempts or whether they also used counseling and behavior modification therapy in their quit attempts.
After studying all of the data, the researchers discovered that people using a combination of NRT and behavioral therapy were most likely to successfully quit smoking. Those that were participating in some form of counseling were three times more likely to succeed. Cold turkey quitters had very low success rates, but they were not at the bottom of the results. The least successful group were those using over-the-counter NRT methods without behavioral support. This group of smokers had slightly lower success rates than cold turkey attempts.
The data revealed that having some form of behavior therapy is essential if a smoker wants to successfully give up cigarettes. We’ve seen similar results from other studies in the past. It turns out that the success of any kind of NRT really hinges on whether the patient also has additional support. Medication alone just doesn’t seem to work in real life.
For those smokers that do manage to quit, mastering the behavioral addiction is just as difficult as getting past the nicotine withdrawals. The Oxford Journal published a study last year that confirmed this conclusion, finding that 17 percent of smokers that participated in behavioral therapy were still tobacco-free after six months. Unfortunately, the majority of people using nicotine replacement therapies are not seeking any additional support for behavior modification. By ignoring this crucial aspect of addiction recovery, they essentially render NRT useless.
This is just one more reason that e-cigarettes are a good option. Research proves that e-cigs are equally as effective as nicotine patches. Plus, vaping addresses the behavioral element by giving smokers the satisfaction of the “act” of smoking without the dangerous tobacco. Because e-liquids come in varied nicotine strengths, smokers can even gradually reduce their nicotine intake until they are not only tobacco-free, but also completely nicotine-free as well. Electronic cigarettes are truly the best harm reduction strategy for smokers that want to quit, but cannot afford counseling or behavior therapy.
This study doesn’t come as a surprise to most vapers that have tried NRT in the past and failed. However, it gives us more evidence that e-cigs are a good alternative to cigarettes because they address the behavioral modification that traditional forms of NRT completely ignore.
What are your past experiences with nicotine replacement therapy? We would love to hear your story so leave a comment and tell us how NRT worked for you.