Cookie policy notice

By continuing to use this site you agree to our cookies policy below:
Since 26 May 2011, the law now states that cookies on websites can ony be used with your specific consent. Cookies allow us to ensure that you enjoy the best browsing experience.

This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

Fake cigarettes boost stop smoking rates

By Alisdair Stirling

Fake cigarettes help motivated smokers to quit, according to the first published randomised controlled trial of nicotine-free inhalers.

Researchers studying 120 patients enrolled in a smoking cessation programme gave half the group plastic inhalers while the other half were given nicotine patches.

They also used questionnaires to determine the patients' physical and behavioural dependence on cigarettes.

Overall results showed no significant difference between the groups in quit rates at 24 weeks, when 33.3% of those in the inhaler group at had quit compared with 28.3% of the control group.

But the quit rate in the inhaler group was higher in patients who said they were motivated to smoke because of the addictive habit and the ritual of lighting up. 66.7% of these patients had quit at 24 weeks, more than three-fold higher than the reference group, at 19.2.

Study leader Professor Riccardo Polosa, director of the institute of internal medicine and clinical immunology at the University of Catania in Italy said: ‘Our study is the first to reveal that the concept of behavioural addiction can be exploited as a useful clinical tool for many smokers willing to quit. This will open up a potentially novel area of research in smoking cessation.'

European Respiratory Journal 2011, online May 12

Nicotine-free cigarettes helped boost quit rates

Rate this article  (5 average user rating)

Click to rate

  • 1 star out of 5
  • 2 stars out of 5
  • 3 stars out of 5
  • 4 stars out of 5
  • 5 stars out of 5

0 out of 5 stars

Have your say