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Nicotine replacement therapy and smoking cessation: an updated systematic review of randomized control trials

Author: 
Zainab Mohammed Al Eid, Zahra’a Ibrahim Al Radhi, Fatimah Abbas AlMohammed Saleh and Fatimah Adnan Al Ramadhan
Subject Area: 
Life Sciences
Abstract: 

Background and objective: Smoking cessation is associated with decreased smoking related morbidity and mortality and increased life expectancy. It can be achieved through several pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions in which nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is an example that help to replace nicotine from cigarettes, therefore, reducing nicotine withdrawal symptoms and the urge to smoke. The aim of this review is to determine the effectiveness of NRT in enhancing, achieving, and maintaining smoking cessation. Methods: A literature search was conducted in March 2017 using Medline/PubMed, Science Direct, SCOPUS, TRIP and Google scholar databases, in which randomized trials of NRT and smoking cessation with final follow-up at least 6 months after the start of treatment were selected. Twenty-one eligible trials were identified, in which NRT was compared to placebo, other pharmacotherapy or non-pharmacotherapy and reported abstinence rates. The main outcome measure is self-reported 7-day point of quit rate over study conduction period to assess the specific effect of nicotine replacement therapy among interventional group. Results: NRT use for at least two weeks is an effective measure in promoting smoking cessation among male and female smokers regardless of the degree of their smoking dependence. Also, NRT use during pregnancy is a safe intervention to enhance smoking cessation among pregnant smokers and is associated with delivery of babies with higher birthweight. Conclusion: This review concludes that nicotine replacement therapy is an effective, safe intervention to promote and sustain smoking cessation whether used alone or in combination with additional support of pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions.

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