The article "Extending Nicotine Patch Treatment Temporarily Increases Likelihood of Smoking Abstinence", published by Annals of Internal Medicine, on February2, 2010, may be considered scientific evidence of a marketing strategy that lies behind the so-called Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)1, created to dupe smokers in good health who want to quit smoking. The deception is already evident in the term "therapy" which implies the existence of a disease to be eliminated.
What is the disease? The answer is "Smoking." In other words, what for centuries has been considered habit, pleasure, vice, sedative in moments of nervousness , stimulant of alertness, memory, efficiency, has been transformed into an illness. Disease invented, like the Menopause, or the ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), by the drug manufacturers and supported by physicians, most of which influenced by congresses and clinical studies funded by Big Pharma.
The very title of the article is an "alert". Indeed, the words "Extending … Temporary … Likelihood" reveal that all that glitters is not gold. The title translated for the man in the streets, reads: If you want to try to be one of the more or less 15% of NRT users who might quit smoking for a short time, you must use the nicotine patches for long time.
Of course, before going to the drug store, essential prerequisite is a strong motivation to wanting to quit smoking, otherwise the slim possibility of becoming one of the +/- 15% temporary quitters falls to nothing.
To a careful observer, the title itself clearly says that the highly publicized treatment for smoking cessation is nothing more than a business behind which hides the monetary interests of the pharmaceutical companies. In fact, if, as they say, nicotine is responsible for the addiction to cigarettes, it means to pass from one addiction to another, from cigarettes to patches!
The same observer knowing that the WHO is aware of these data (which, by the way, are nothing new) will wonder what on earth there must be behind this story. But if he knew that Big Pharma is, directly and indirectly, part of the WHO, things would become clear to his mind.
Let’s go to the study presented in the above article which, by the way, was supported by The National Cancer Institute and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health
“The senior study author (Caryn Lerman, PhD) has disclosed various financial relationships with GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca, Pfizer, and Novartis”!….
The authors did a parallel randomized, placebo-controlled trial among 568 volunteer smokers, from September 2004 to February 2008, using GlaxoSmithKline’s nicotine patches for 8 weeks in some, for 24 weeks in others, and placebo patches for 16 weeks in the remaining volunteers.
Dr. Laurie Barclay, who presented the article in Medscape Pathology & Lab Medicine, said: "Extended therapy with transdermal nicotine helps some adults quit smoking, but benefits may persist only while treatment is maintained."
To make sure that the reader doesn’t suspect that I am trying to give my personal interpretation of that study, please let me emphasize that she stated, “some adults” and “benefits may persist”.
Above all, keep in mind that it is well ascertained that the conditio sine qua non to quit smoking is a strong determination to do so, no matter if you do it on your own will or with the support of doctors, psychologists, clinics, patches, acupunctures, pills, piercings, books, and so on.
So, dear fellow smoker, if for some reason you decide (or are forced to) to patronize Big Pharma instead of Big Tobacco, do not be deluded if you don’t fall in that 15%.
I insist on saying that if you are in good health and enjoy your cigarette, use it but do not abuse. And, if you want to quit, remember that most ex smokers are people who abandoned the habit on their own, without the aid of pharmaceutical hotch-potches, neither of psychologists, medical counselors or other smoke sellers.
1) NRT reminds me the HRT for women in menopause about which I wrote a piece a couple of months ago (see: “Fake Medical Researche(r)s”)