PARSIPPANY, N.J. — The Food and Drug Administration is exploring the benefits associated with the long-term use of nicotine-replacement therapy products, a factor expected to both extend the amount of time a person avails themselves of the smoking-cessation therapy, as well as increase the success rates for quit attempts.
Maintaining smoking-cessation therapy certainly is healthier than the alternative, noted Nick Kronfeld, medical director for GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare’s smoking control business. “The concern is there are people who get to the end of the recommended 12 weeks of use but still find they’re having significant craving and withdrawal symptoms,” he said. “If the alternative is going back to smoking, then we feel it would be important to support and tailor therapies to that sub-group [that is] still having trouble at 12 weeks.”
Already, several other countries encourage the use of NRT products for longer durations to keep people tobacco-free. More than 46 million Americans smoke, and research indicates about 70% of smokers want to quit at any given time. Tobacco use causes more than 400,000 deaths in the United States each year, and approximately 8.6 million Americans have chronic illnesses related to smoking.