Self-determining nicotine intake will help smokers quit habit

Man smoking cigarette

A new study conducted by a team of researchers at the Queen Mary University of London has found that allowing smokers to determine their nicotine intake could help them to quit the deadly habit forever.

In an early study conducted on 50 participants, researchers found that most smokers who use stop-smoking medications can easily tolerate doses that are four times higher than those normally recommended. Researchers who took part in the study revealed that the recommended dose of stop-smoking medications seem very low for many of the participants, and as a result, they may most likely start the habit again in the future.

"Smokers determine their nicotine intake while they smoke, but when they try to quit, their nicotine levels are dictated by the recommended dosing of the treatment. These levels may be far too low for some people, increasing the likelihood that they go back to smoking. Medicinal nicotine products may be under-dosing smokers and could explain why we've seen limited success in treatments, such as patches and gum, helping smokers to quit. A change in their application is now needed," said Dunja Przulj, a top researcher at the Queen Mary University and the lead author of the study.

Przulj also added that it is okay to use whatever dose of nicotine among people so that they can quit smoking effectively and forever. Nicotine replacement therapies were first evaluated in the 1970s, and during those times, experts recommended low doses of stop-smoking medications fearing addictiveness and toxicity. However, further researches revealed nicotine from non-tobacco products are not that addictive, and higher doses are safe for use.

During the current study, researchers noted that some of the participants developed adverse effects when the patch doses were increased. Some of them developed nausea followed by vomiting, but these aftereffects were mild and well tolerated.

Peter Hajek from the Queen Mary University of London revealed that allowing smokers to determine their necessary nicotine level is one of the best ways to combat smoking habit.

"Smokers are perfectly capable of determining which doses of nicotine they find helpful. There is no risk of dangerous overdose because nicotine includes an effective safety valve in the form of nausea," said Hajek.

A few days back, another study report has suggested that quitting alcohol is the first step to stop smoking. The study revealed that the nicotine metabolism rate of the body gets reduced when people stop drinking alcohol, and as a result, nicotine craving can be controlled effectively.

This article was first published on January 3, 2019