The use of NRT ... pre-quitting

Well this should fuel the NRT debate! Whilst browsing through some local jobs, I came across a position as a Clinical Trials Admin Assistant for a Preloading Study ....

The Preloading Study is a major HTA-funded clinical trial which will determine whether or not using nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) for a ‘run in’ period before quitting is more effective for smoking cessation than current standard use of NRT. The trial is led from Birmingham and Nottingham will be one of four major recruiting centres.

Oh dearie me. I confess I am an NRT user, but even I am speechless.....

It really makes you wonder ....


14 Replies

  • The use of N.R.T pre-quitting

    Hello Sue you say your speechless at the research into the use of N.R.T. pre-Quitting could I ask why? Surely any research which might increase the success rate of people quitting should be welcomed. Let's face it, if the current thinking on quitting was so successful there would be no need for this Forum. Perhaps you might have noticed that very few if any entrepeneurs have invested in no smoking aids, quitting is not exactly a growth businees.So in my opinion anything that aids/helps people to quit should be welcomed.


  • Hi Michael

    I'm all for anything which will genuinely assist people who wish to stop smoking, and I'm not anti-research either.

    But it seems to me that smoking cessation services all peddle the same line - that if we want to succeed, then our best option is NRT. In my case it was the only advice I received. I think this places an undue emphasis on the nicotine addiction, whereas the real problem most people face when trying to quit is connected with the psychological aspects of the habit.

    I openly admit that I embraced the theory (they are the 'experts', after all ....), and may well not have got my quit off the ground without it, but I suspect that I might also have managed equally well with a packet of polos, if I had BELIEVED they were helping.

    I find it alarming that this project seems to suggest that not only is it a given that NRT works in the first place (but then again I think we are all deemed to be 'success stories' if we reach the end of the 12 week course = ha!), but that its use should be EXTENDED, to include a pre quit period. This would, of course, be very good news for the pharmaceutical companies though ....

    I suppose I'm annoyed that I bought into the NRT theory in the first place, as I now feel I still have a mountain ahead of me, in spite of not having had a cigarette for over 6 months. And yes, I know that I just need to get my head around the idea that polos will work!

    I think that if some form of additional support is required, particularly in the pre quit period, it would be better directed to addressing the reasons why people smoke in the first place. Not giving them a nicotine based substitute for doing so.


  • Here-we-go I totally agree with your last post.

    I was on patches for the first 2 week but had to come off them due to an allergic reaction. I was in a right panic because this had happened before and I started smoking again. This time though, I really think I got my head right and it hasn't been so much of a problem. I have the odd mini if I'm really struggling but only about 3 or 4 a week.

    My stop smoking cessation classes only lasted for 6 wks and 2 where cancelled!!

    our facilitator told us that after 3 months the receptors in the brain die down and after that it is just a habit memory. If this is the case, what happens to people on NRT? Does this extend the life of the receptors?

  • since reading this thread my quit doesnt feel solid anymore, not sure why but each time i read stuff thats a bit negative about nrt i get these doubts and thoughts that i may smoke again .... mmmmmmm i wonder.

    Mash x

  • All I can contribute to this is - I smoked about 20 a day for over 20 years. I tried a couple of times to quit cold turkey but couldn't do it, the cravings were unbelieveable and I couldn't function. My longest quit last 2 weeks after reading Allen Carr (whose theory totally makes sense). I have not smoked since the end of Feb. I followed the patches programme but reduced patches quicker than advised (I'm impatient like that). I was scared at first that reducing patches would cause cravings but it didn't seem to be a problem. Stopping the weakest ones was a killer, though, but people on here told me to chop them in half so they went even weaker for a week!! And I've been off patches now for over a week, with no cravings, just wistfulness when, for example, i had a lager in the sun yesterday.... So my verdict would definitely be that NRT worked for me, and that I have now stopped smoking. If I smoke again it will be because I made the choice to, I am aware that it may happen one day, but only in the same way as ANY smoker who used ANY method to stop may do. I thank NRT for this.

  • NRT for me

    I had been smoking for 50 years before I stopped on Feb13th this year. I could never have stopped but for Patches, the inhalator and chewing gum at times. I am now off everything after completing the 12 week programme with my local Chemist, and my advice to anyone is if you have to have a helping hand, go for it

  • I don't see the issue with pre-loading so long as it is effective and not just another way for the pharmaceutical companies to make money. Also, while I advocate cold turkey for the fact that once you've got rid of the nicotine your left with "just" the psychological aspect of quitting, I also don't see any issue with an NRT program that is designed to help you get off the chemical dependency either. In fact, I quit for five years a long time ago using the patch, and my starting up again had nothing to do with that. Second time around I quit cold turkey one an a half years ago, but I wouldn't class either one of those quits as better than the other.

    Quitting is quitting, no matter how you go about it, and if pre-loading turns out to be a good solution then all the better.


  • I totally agree with you on that score Alex.

    Whenever i start a new quit i have never set a date. I know what i'm like and by the time that dates arrives i would have probably talked myself out of it.

    This quit and my last proper one were done on the spur of the moment. I basically said to myself that when i go to bed and wake up in the morning i'm won't smoke anymore.

    Both of my quits were driven on by coughing fits and the crap i was also bringing up.This would last for at least a couple of weeks. Then there's that horrible whistling sound you make when lying in bed or just being breathless.

    When i quit i want everything associated with smoking out of my body asap. I didn't want help from patches/gum etc as i felt i was a much stronger person than that. I will beat this on my own.

    This is how i motivate myself to start a new quit or keep one going. Oh and i'm not a serial quitter. I cocked up a two year quit and never again will i repeat that.

    Of course that's just my opinion which works for me.

  • Hogwash of the most gigantic proportions.

    So watch out for any stories popping up in the press reporting that “New studies SUGGEST that nicotine COULD help to prevent eyebrow hair from growing out of control, or gallstones from growing quite as fast as they otherwise would, or improve post-operative joint mobility…”

    Anything, really. Absolutely any old use will do. Surely it must do something useful… what about memory, might it improve memory? Concentration? Appetite control? Tremor-reduction? Come on, THINK! We’ve got tons of the stuff, and all this machinery… those smokers aren’t going to be fooled by our misinformation forever! NICOTINE NEEDS A MEDICO-MAKEOVER, NOW! FOR GOD’S SAKE, THERE MUST BE SOMETHING USEFUL IT CAN DO!

    Hmmmmm, we haven't actually exhausted smokers yet! Let's try administering it BEFORE people quit? Surely that's another batch load we can shift. Fabulous, I'll go and put down that deposit on the new factory.... :rolleyes:

  • My heart sank last night as I plonked myself down in front of the TV.

    It's now on the market; the wear a patch whilst still smoking quit a bit later patch.

    I'm going to have to stop shouting at the tv, it's making me look a little weird.

    Sometimes I despair where these things lead. Are we as a nation, so thick that we absorb this drivel without question. :(

  • My patches have instructions for using them while you still smoke and they're the standard Niquitin ones.

    Surely if it works it's a good thing, and no different to using Champix which you do before you stop smoking!!

    Not trying to be difficult but I don't see the problem with NRT.

    If it wasn't for patches and gum I'd still be smoking - my quit would have lasted a day at most instead of 7 weeks and still going strong.

    Yes, I am still addicted to nicotine *but* it's decreasing and using patches/gum has broken the hand to mouth action. routine of smoking etc and importantly it's given me time to adjust to being a non-smoker.

  • My heart sank last night as I plonked myself down in front of the TV.

    It's now on the market; the wear a patch whilst still smoking quit a bit later patch.

    I'm going to have to stop shouting at the tv, it's making me look a little weird.

    Sometimes I despair where these things lead. Are we as a nation, so thick that we absorb this drivel without question. :(

    These patches have been going for a couple of years now because I used them on long haul flights.

  • Nicotine is big business and companies spend billions coming up with new tactics and products to get us hooked. However, cigarettes are still the most effective, fastest way to get nicotine into our brains - perhaps this is why it is easier to quit nrt than cigarettes.

    Roosa - couple days without any gum and feeling GOOD :p

  • Gezzz quit abit later patchs while you smoke sounds it some kinda different sort of nicotine? or are they just making up new rules:confused:

    Its a good job these guys dont make dieting rules....they would be telling us that eating pizza everyday is a great way to loose weight:D

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