Nicotine Patches Are They Effective?

A recent medical study published by the Harvard Medical School in January of 2012, reports on the effectiveness of Nicotine patches used in smoking cessation. The study concluded that, in the long-term, Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) is ineffective!
Physicians, insurers and others in the healthcare industry should take note of this report! If nicotine patches are ineffective, why are they still being distributed as a method to quell the smoking habit?
The problem is that most people see the smoking problem as one of physical addiction to the nicotine poison. While the nicotine patches may be ineffective, the introduction of nicotine into a person’s body without the harmful tar and chemicals that accompany the nicotine in cigarettes is certainly much better than for the smoker to continue with cigarettes.
The only problem with nicotine patches, gums, sprays, e cigarettes, and other NRT “crutches” is that they are simply a better method of getting nicotine into a person’s body than cigarettes. But, nicotine remains a poison to the human body and these therapies do little to cure the addictive qualities of nicotine! The smoker remains addicted; he/she just is no longer ingesting all of the tars and chemicals of cigarettes.
Even with the nicotine addiction under some limited control, a bigger problem remains unsolved. The smoker is left with all of the psychological, sociological, and cultural issues linkage and triggers that are major parts of the smoker’s persona.
Every smoker fully understands the linkages between cigarettes and food, caffeine, and alcohol. They also know, very well, how certain events and pressures trigger the craving for a cigarette. As long as these linkages and trigger remain unchecked, it’s very understandable why a smoker typically finds himself or herself lighting another cigarette within days, weeks or months after “quitting” using nicotine replacement therapy (NRT).
There are very few things about smoking that are logical. Nobody starts smoking for a logical reason and once fully engaged, they cannot be convinced by logic to quit! In fact, most smokers become experts at rationalizing and justifying their smoking and building internal defenses against logical reasons to quit. If quitting were a purely logical decision, nobody would continue smoking when faced with the hard scientific evidence of the harmful effects of smoking.
Smoking is a complex problem and using drugs or NRT to attack the nicotine addiction is like taking a shower with your clothes on! A smoker simply cannot quit smoking by only working on a single part of the problem. The pharmaceutical industry has worked hard to perfect drugs and patches to alleviate the “nicotine problem”, but they, sadly, have done little to address the “Smoking Problem”. This is why, after more than a decade of use, these drugs have had little effect in reducing the overall rate of smoking in America.
Smokers must be taught how to quit! They need to understand all of the issues at play in their body and then be taught how to effectively address these issues. They need to have access to reasonable, safe and available training on how to deal with the various linkages, triggers and pressures that are associated with quitting smoking. There are several such programs in use across America today, Most of them are taught in the setting of a local health clinic and some are taught in seminars and regional events. There are even online courses now available that enable a smoker to learn, on his/her own, how to quit smoking effectively and comfortably.
The American Psychiatric Association’s Handbook reports that “80% of smokers desire to quit smoking, 35% attempt to quit every year, yet only 5% of smokers are successful in their unaided attempts to quit”. Smokers desperately need effective training on how to quit!