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At the heart of general practice since 1960

New quit smoking regimen leaves no time to light up

Copperfield suggests an equally effective and much cheaper alternative to the 'triple whammy' treatment regimen found to increase smoking quit rates.

Copperfield suggests an equally effective and much cheaper alternative to the 'triple whammy' treatment regimen found to increase smoking quit rates.

I recently coughed and spluttered in the manner of someone with a 40 a day habit and yellow fingers. But it wasn't that the tar/nicotine combo had finally got to me – I don't smoke, not unless you count the passive stuff I inhale from my patients, some of whom seem to be half human, half fag.

No. It was just that a letter from the local anti-smoking clinic had made me choke on my coffee. Because it was asking me to prescribe nicotine patches and bupropion.

But if I thought that was overkill, what about this Bloody hell: smokers being treated with nicotine patches nicotine inhalers and bupropion?

Despite an increase in side effects – nausea, insomnia and, I imagine, needing to be peeled off the ceiling – the quit rate increased by 16% at six months.

I'm not surprised. By the time you've stuck on a patch, popped a pill, sucked on your inhaler, and phoned your incredulous GP pleading for a repeat prescription of this triple nicotine whammy, there's not much time left to light up.

On that basis, can I suggest another trial in which smokers are simply told to spin plates, recite the lord's prayer backwards, and rub their tummy while patting their head? For six months. I'm sure it would be just as effective and a lot bloody cheaper.

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