Health Canada Approves Gradual Approach to Quitting Smoking



    Clinical trials demonstrate an increased chance of quitting by more than
    four times for smokers previously unable to quit

    TORONTO, June 12 /CNW/ - For the millions of Canadians who continue to
smoke because they are unable to quit abruptly, a new approach may help them
breathe easier. Recently, Health Canada approved a new indication for
NICORETTE(R) that allows smokers to gradually reduce the number of cigarettes
smoked before they stop completely. According to clinical trials this approach
may increase the chances of quitting by more than four times for people who
have not been able to quit in the past.(1) Considering that 95 per cent of
cold turkey quitters relapse in the first year, a gradual reduction strategy
is welcome news for those attempting to butt out for good.
    "Many highly dependent smokers are anxious about the thought of quitting
and can't imagine going without a cigarette for hours let alone days," said
Dr. Charl Els, Addiction Psychiatrist at the University of Alberta's Tobacco
Addiction Clinic. "For smokers not ready or unable to quit, one option may be
to quit one cigarette at a time, one day at a time. This new indication may
help them achieve complete cessation because the smoker has greater control
over when he/she is ready to stop. Using nicotine replacement therapy in this
way makes quitting a more manageable goal and represents an exciting new
strategy that can effectively increase a smoker's chances for success at
quitting. Smokers need to remember that there is no one magic bullet to
quitting, and that we now have a menu of options available to help kick the
habit."

    A Simple and Effective Approach to Quitting

    Clinical trials have shown that smoking reduction is an effective way to
stop as it stimulates a smoker's interest in quitting, promotes attempts to
quit and increases quitting rates.(2,3) It involves a simple three-step
approach.

    Step 1: For the first six weeks, smokers set targets for both the number
of cigarettes per day to reduce, and a date to do it by. Nicotine gum should
be used as required during reduction to manage cravings.

    Step 2: Between six weeks and four months, smokers reduce their daily
cigarette consumption by 50 per cent with the help of nicotine gum. Smokers
continue to reduce until they feel ready to stop smoking completely.

    Step 3: From four months to six months smokers stop all cigarette
consumption and continue to use nicotine gum for up to three more months to
relieve cravings.

    "Gradually reducing cigarette consumption has been shown to increase
motivation to quit, increase confidence to quit, and promote overall
quitting," said Matthew Carpenter, PhD, co-author of "Does smoking reduction
increase future cessation and decrease disease risk? A qualitative review, In
Nicotine and Tobacco Research". "A number of studies, as well as real-world
experience in other jurisdictions, have shown that this cut down approach has
no negative impact on smokers' desire to quit, and in fact, actually results
in an increase in quit attempts."
    The approved strategy using nicotine gum is proven to significantly
increase the chance of successful reduction and ultimate cessation, compared
to placebo or willpower alone.(4,5) An individual's strength and willpower,
combined with the proper use of nicotine gum, can help them wean themselves
off nicotine gradually, while reducing nicotine withdrawal symptoms. In fact,
clinical trials show that smokers who successfully reduce with nicotine gum
have a one in three chance of successfully quitting long-term (i.e. at
12 months).(1)
    The safety of nicotine gum use while also smoking during the three-step
process was assessed in clinical trials, finding no unexpected adverse events
compared to studies on abrupt smoking cessation using nicotine gum.(5)

    Reduce the Harmful Effects of Smoking

    Despite the declining use of tobacco over time, smoking is still the
leading cause of preventable illness, disability and death in Canada,
responsible for one-in-five deaths annually.(6) One-fifth of all deaths from
cancer, heart disease and stroke are caused by smoking, this is roughly five
times the number of deaths caused by car accidents, suicides, drug abuse,
murder and AIDS combined.(7) Gradually cutting back can be an effective
strategy to further increase quit rates in Canada by offering an effective
option to the large number of smokers who have been unable to quit abruptly in
the past.

    About McNeil Consumer Healthcare

    NICORETTE(R) is owned and marketed by McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division
of McNeil PDI Inc. McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division of McNeil PDI Inc
markets a broad range of well-known and trusted over-the-counter (OTC)
products around the globe. McNeil Consumer Healthcare Canada markets products
in the adult and pediatric pain relief, allergy, gastro-intestinal and
nicotine-replacement categories.

    
    VIDEO B-ROLL AVAILABLE VIA SATELLITE:

    DATE OF FEED:   Tuesday, June 12, 2007

    TIME OF FEED:   10:00 - 10:30 Eastern and again at 14:00 - 14:30 Eastern

    CO-ORDINATES:   Anik F2C/7B @ 111.1 West

                       Vertical Polarization, D/L Freq. 3980 MHz.
                       Audio subcarriers 6.8 left, 6.2 right

    Also Available at Toronto T.O.C. at the same times (SDI Router
    PositionNo.42).

    References
    ----------

    1)  Nicorette Gum Product Monograph.

    2)  Farkas, AJ. When does cigarette fading increase the likelihood of
        future cessation? Ann. Behav Med. 1999; 21: 71-6

    3)  Kralikova E, Kozak J, Rasmussen t, et al. Smoking reduction or
        cessation with nicotine gum or inhaler. Poster presented at the
        Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco meeting, Seattle, March
        2001

    4)  Landfeldt B, Batra A, Friedrich HM, et al. Smoking reduction with a
        4 mg nicotine gum. Final results from a placebo-controlled trial over
        13M. Presented at the 5th European Society for Research on Nicotine
        and Tobacco meeting, Padua, Italy, November 20 22, 2003. (Full paper
        submitted to 'Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics' Q4 2004)

    5)  Rennard SI, Muramoto M, Glover E, Leischow S, et al: Efficacy of
        nicotine inhaler in smoking reduction. Presented at the European
        Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco meeting, Paris,
        September 2001 (full paper submitted to 'Nicotine & Tobacco
        Research')

    6)  Health Canada. Available at http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca. Accessed March 6,
        2007.

    7)  Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada. Available at:
        www.smoke-free.ca/health. Accessed March 6, 2007
    





For further information:

For further information: For background information on
Reduce-to-Quit(TM) or to arrange an interview with one of our Physicians,
please contact: Jennifer Gordon, Daniela Ferri, Edelman (416) 979-1120 ext
345, 272, jennifer.gordon@edelman.com, daniela.ferri@edelman.com

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