Nicotine replacement therapy: evidence from observational studies versus clinical trials

Johnson George
Med J Aust 2012; 196 (6): . || doi: 10.5694/mja12.10130
Published online: 2 April 2012

To the Editor: A “real world” study of smoking abstinence caught the attention of Australian media recently, who primarily focused on the commentary that “cold turkey” was the most successful approach for quitting smoking. Alpert and colleagues1 assessed the effects of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) alone and/or in combination with behaviour counselling in 787 adult smokers from Massachusetts who had recently quit smoking.

  • Centre for Medicine Use and Safety, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC.


Competing interests:

I received a research grant from Pfizer, for research on smoking cessation support for inpatients. Pfizer had no involvement in study design or report writing.

  • 1. Alpert HR, Connolly GN, Biener L. A prospective cohort study challenging the effectiveness of population-based medical intervention for smoking cessation. Tob Control Epub 10 Jan 2012. (accessed Mar 2012).
  • 2. Silagy C, Lancaster T, Stead L, et al. Nicotine replacement therapy for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2004; (3) CD000146.
  • 3. Stead LF, Perera R, Bullen C, et al. Nicotine replacement therapy for smoking cessation [update]. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2008; (1): CD000146.
  • 4. Moore D, Aveyard P, Connock M, et al. Effectiveness and safety of nicotine replacement therapy assisted reduction to stop smoking: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ 2009; 338: b1024.
  • 5. West R, Hajek P, Stead L, Stapleton J. Outcome criteria in smoking cessation trials: proposal for a common standard. Addiction 2005; 100: 299-303.


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