Oral medicine or patches? Which one would better for who want to quit smoking?

Turns out, the answer is - both.

A new industry-funded study took a look at the effectiveness of the medication Chantix and nicotine patches and found that when the two approaches are combined, users have a much greater chance of success than when they are used separately.

The study, published in the recent issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, was funded by Pfizer and McNeil, the company that makes both Chantix and nicotine patches. For the study, researchers randomly assigned 446 smokers to take Chantix and a nicotine patch or the just the patch with a placebo. Participants continued the treatment for 14 weeks.

After 12 weeks, 55 percent of the participants who took both Chantix and the patch had stopped smoking compared to 41 percent of participants who used the patch and took a placebo. After six months, the numbers were 49 percent and 33 percent, respectively.

In the grand scheme of things, it's important to note that less than half of the participants were successful at quitting smoking after six months, even when using both Chantix and the patch. But the combination of medications did increase success. So while health care providers may typically prescribe one or the other to help their patients quit smoking, it may be worth exploring the option of combining the two to improve the patient's likelihood of success.

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