Study finds most smokers lack knowledge on ways to quit smoking
PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Almost half of all smokers try and fail to quit their addiction to nicotine products each year, according to a study released Wednesday.
A contributing factor to the high rate of failed quit attempts is the low use of nicotine-replacement therapies, the study found. That may be because of misperceptions around the health effects of NRTs.
The study, which was fielded in partnership by GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare and Legacy, reported that 93% of smokers did not know smoking while wearing the nicotine patch does not cause heart attacks; 76% of smokers did not know nicotine patch, gum and lozenge products are not as addictive as cigarettes; and 69% of smokers did not know NRT products are not as harmful as cigarettes.
"The data indicate a need to further inform smokers about the methods that can effectively help them quit," stated Saul Shiffman, researcher on the study, professor in the departments of psychology and pharmaceutical science at the University of Pittsburgh and senior scientific adviser at Pinney Associates, which provides consulting services to GSK. "Of particular note, 84% of respondents requested feedback on their incorrect answers in the survey, suggesting smokers want information regarding quitting and are interested in learning about the safety and efficacy of cessation strategies."
Findings from the study were published in a recent issue of the journal Addictive Behaviors.
GSK expects to divest noncore OTC brands by late 2011, company says
PHILADELPHIA — GlaxoSmithKline expects to close the deal on the divestiture of several over-the-counter brands that were identified in April, the company stated Tuesday as part of its second-quarter earnings results.
"The divestment of noncore OTC assets in the [United States] and Europe will further aid our strategy to accelerate growth and increase the focus of our Consumer Healthcare business," GSK stated. "We are making progress to divest these products by late 2011, subject to realizing appropriate value for shareholders."
The update drove speculation as to who is in the running for GSK’s second-tier brands, which includes, in the U.S. market, analgesic powders BC and Goody’s, and the only OTC weight-loss product, Alli. According to a Reuters report published Thursday morning, private equity firms Advent, Cinven and Warburg Pincus are among the most likely bidders. Rival consumer healthcare divisions are not necessarily in the running, Reuters reported. Advent is considered the front-runner because it counts former GSK CEO Jean-Pierre Garnier among its group of operating partners. Nonbinding bids are due Aug. 8.
The total divestiture, which includes several European OTC brands, is expected to generate less than $2.1 billion, according to the report, given the uncertainty surrounding Alli — sales in the trendy weight-loss category continue to decline. For the 52 weeks ended April 17, (Alli was identified as a divestiture candidate April 14), Alli sales totaled $60.3 million across food, drug and mass (excluding Walmart), representing a decline of 35.4%.
The full report is available here.
FDA’s Fabricant to deliver keynote address at CRN conference this fall
WASHINGTON — The Council for Responsible Nutrition on Wednesday announced that Daniel Fabricant, director of the Division of Dietary Supplement Programs at the Food and Drug Administration, will deliver the keynote address at The Conference: CRN’s Annual Symposium for the Dietary Supplement Industry on Oct. 20 in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.
Fabricant, who recently joined the FDA following stints at the Natural Products Association and ConsumerLab.com, will address the agency’s priorities for the dietary supplement industry, including the FDA’s perspective on the newly released and controversial draft guidance for New Dietary Ingredients.
At the agency, Fabricant is responsible for the full implementation of DSHEA through the interpretation and enforcement of dietary supplement requirements that ensure the safety and truthful labeling of dietary supplements support legislative compliance, enforcement and public affairs initiatives.
“The dietary supplement and nutrition products industries are facing new and serious challenges, as evidenced by publication of [the] FDA’s draft NDI guidance and the recent introduction of S. 1310 by Senator Richard Durbin,” stated John Venardos, chairman of the conference and SVP worldwide regulatory, government and industry affairs for Herbalife. “We are appreciative that Dr. Fabricant will engage with our participants at this industry-wide conference, and his insights will set the stage for a lively, provocative and informative meeting.”
Online registration is available through CRN’s website.