Nicotine Withdrawal: Some smokers can quit more easily
Many smokers who have decided to turn their backs on nicotine will relapse again. As an investigation now shows, the chances of success of various methods of smoking cessation obviously depend on how quickly a person breaks down nicotine.
Chances of success depend on the speed with which nicotine is broken down Apparently, the chances of success of various ways to quit smoking also depend on how quickly a person breaks down nicotine. According to a report by the dpa news agency, those who metabolize tobacco normally benefit from medication, according to a study. For people whose bodies break down nicotine slowly, on the other hand, nicotine patches are the most common pharmacotherapy in the USA and Europe. This is what US doctors around Caryn Lerman from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia report in the journal "The Lancet Respiratory Medicine".
Most smokers relapse Around six million people worldwide die from smoking every year, and health care costs are estimated at $ 200 billion. There are various options for smoking cessation. "Up to 65 percent of smokers who quit relapse in the first week," said Lerman. According to the information, weaning is made particularly difficult by the desire for nicotine, which also depends on how quickly a person's organism breaks down this substance. And that, in turn, depends on the activity of an enzyme in the liver, which is influenced by the genetic material and also by the external circumstances.
Stronger withdrawal symptoms with normal breakdown rate The nicotine levels in the body drop faster in people with a normal breakdown rate - according to the authors, about 60 percent of the population. As a rule, they smoke more, have stronger withdrawal symptoms when there is no replenishment and are therefore more likely to relapse. The medical team tested around 1,250 abstinence-seeking smokers in the USA and Canada for the nicotine breakdown rate (NMR) to determine the influence of the metabolism. The participants were divided into three groups: one received a nicotine patch and a placebo pill, another group received a medication and a placebo patch, and the rest received a dummy patch and a dummy tablet. It was found that after 11 weeks, the rate of success for people with normal metabolism who received the medication was twice as high as for the plasters.
Patches have fewer side effects. Even after six months, the medication was even more helpful than the patch, but the difference was now less. The abstinence rate was 10 percent with placebo, 13 percent with the plaster and 16 percent with the medication. It is also reported that patches and tablets were similarly effective in people with slow nicotine metabolism at the end of therapy. Therefore, the doctors advise these people to have patches because they have fewer side effects, such as nausea, headache or depression. "To increase success rates for all smokers while minimizing side effects, our results suggest that we treat people with normal metabolism with varenicline and those with slow breakdown with nicotine patches," said co-author Rachel Tyndale of the University of Toronto.
E-cigarettes to help quit smoking "More importantly, you could develop a rapid test that measures the rate of nicotine breakdown." The test used by researchers to measure nicotine breakdown took several days and cost about $ 50 per sample. In a commentary, experts from the English University of Bristol described the study as "important scientific progress". If the results are confirmed, this could lead to a change in clinical practice. Another means of quitting smoking has not been investigated by the researchers: e-cigarettes can also be useful as an aid to stopping smoking. At the end of last year, a Cochrane study showed that smokers who use electronic cigarettes are more likely to quit smoking or reduce it. In addition, one study examined the effects of electronic cigarettes compared to nicotine patches, and found the effectiveness of the two treatments to be similar to that reported by the Cochrane Collaboration at the time. (ad)