According to a study in JAMA Network Open, long-term nicotine replacement therapy did not provide any advantages over a traditional smoking cessation program for COPD patients attempting to quit.

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On the contrary, “standard smoking cessation (SSC) intervention had a shorter duration of treatment and would appear to be the preferred treatment for smokers ready to quit,” the researchers wrote.

Researchers randomized 398 smokers with COPD into LT-NRT or SSC groups. Standard smoking cessation treatment included 10 weeks of NRT and 4 follow-up counseling sessions for those willing to make a quit attempt. Long-term NRT included 12 months of NRT and 6 follow-up counseling sessions regardless of initial willingness to quit.

Overall, 198 patients were randomized to SSC, and 197 were included in the primary analysis; 200 patients were randomized to LT-NRT, and 197 were included in the primary analysis.

Results found long-term NRT and SSC were associated with modest rates of smoking cessation at 12 months. Carbon monoxide-verified abstinence occurred in 23 of 197 participants (11.7%) in the SSC arm and 24 of 197 (12.2%) in the LT-NRT arm. These results highlight the difficulty in achieving cessation in this group of smokers at high risk for treatment failure, the authors wrote.

“The low overall rate of cessation in this study suggests the need for better strategies to help patients with COPD quit smoking. Future research could examine repeated interventions over time or modifications in therapy after an initial treatment failure. Extended treatment with other agents or delivery devices could also be tested,” researchers concluded.