A pioneering study conducted by University of Pittsburgh psychologist and Professor Saul Shiffman has revealed that people who are using the nicotine patch to quit smoking are less likely to bounce back to a complete relapse, if they continued to wear the patch. The study titled Analyzing Milestones in Smoking Cessation: Illustration in a Nicotine Patch Trial in Adult Smokers is due to be published on May 2 in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.
Shiffman and his associates sought to analyze whether the patch met its desired purpose along with recording treatment milestones that included any slip-ups in the program. Smokers in the study were using either a high-dose NicoDerm CQ nicotine patch (35 mg, 2/3 stronger than the currently marketed 21 mg patches) or a placebo patch. The 324 participants used hand-held computers as electronic diaries, which enabled them to record exactly when they experienced a strong urge to puff including whether or not they succumbed to temptation! The finding revealed that people, who wore the active patch after giving in to the urges, were nearly 4 to 6 times less likely to succumb to the momentary urges of wanting to smoke.
The study reveled that, the nicotine patch greatly helped in averting slip ups and did go a long way in ensuring that any slip up did not become a full blown relapse. This study is particularly relevant in understanding the motive of action which will help in improving the efficacy of addiction treatments.