Patches 'help one million stop smoking'

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The Independent Online
Nicotine patches could help 1 million smokers a year to stop, according to independent researchers who have found strong evidence for the effectiveness of the patches, writes Celia Hall.

In a one-year study of 1,686 heavy smokers in Oxfordshire, 11 per cent of the nicotine patch people stopped compared with 7.7 per cent given dummy patches. The research was based on smokers who had averaged 24 cigarettes a day over 25 years.

Dr Godfrey Fowler, of the Imperial Cancer Research Fund's, General Practice Research Group, which conducted the research, said yesterday: 'A sustained quitting rate of almost 11 per cent is remarkable.'

The results, published in the latest British Medical Journal, say all those in the trial were given advice by their GP, which may have helped the success rate. Dr Fowler said: 'If we applied these figures to all 36,000 GPs in the UK, more than 1 million smokers a year would benefit.'