NRT is mainly to wean smokers off tobacco completely, or for a sufficient time till they gain their normal health. But according to these researchers they have found that the effectiveness of NRT fell from 10.7% to 7.2% among smokers for a period of four years. They studied about4,800 adults and found that 30% of those who had used NRT were smoking again after a year. The researchers pointed out that the previous studies which said that NRT was very effective did not conduct any long term follow up studies. The current study is published in the journal Tobacco control.
But the lead researcher also said that NRT is one of the very few effective drugs to prevent tobacco dependence. Hence to make this treatment effective the time period from the usual 8-12 weeks should be increased or NRT should be combined with other behavioral therapies. The main reason for the relapse seen among smokers is due to the withdrawal symptoms such as weight gain and depression. These persist for a long time because chronic nicotine users have increase active nicotinic receptors present in their brain. A Department of Health spokesman said that six NRT products available in the UK such as the gum, a patch, a nasal spray, and a tablet.