When is an aid not an aid?
A prospective study released yesterday by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute reports a “lack of effectiveness of pharmaceutical aids in increasing long-term cessation."
University of California at San Diego researchers examined matched data sets involving 2,129 smokers who attempted to quit and participated in the national Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey (TUS-CPS).
Matched samples were used to create a more balanced comparison. Researchers found “no evidence that use of varenicline [Chantix], or bupropion [Zyban] or nicotine replacement [the nicotine patch, gum or lozenge] increased the probability of 30 days or more smoking abstinence at one-year follow-up.”
The burning question is, with more than a dozen population level studies screaming the ineffectiveness of over-the-counter replacement nicotine, how much longer before the CDC and FDA begin alerting smokers to the truth, that pharma’s OTC nicotine is not medicine or therapeutic?
On December 11, 2017 the FDA announced creation of EveryTryCounts.gov. There, the FDA’s final crave coping tip falsely tells smokers to “Try nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), such as gums or patches. Using NRT can double your chance of quitting for good.”
Clearly the FDA and CDC must realize that their “your” chances assertions attest to effectiveness, not clinical efficacy. Who benefits by deceiving smokers? And why did pharmaceutical products prevail in clinical trials yet fall flat on their face in real-world use?
The CDC and FDA know that "free medicine" was almost always dangled as clinical study recruiting bait. They know that placebo-controlled clinical trials were not blind as claimed; that 3 to 4 times as many assigned to placebo could correctly declare their assignment as could not, and that they could do so within 24 to 48 hours (peak withdrawal).
And they surely realize that the timing and focus of clinical trial counseling was intended to foster successful dependency transfer to, and use of, the product being tested, not the insights needed to aid the placebo arm in successfully navigating abrupt nicotine cessation.
The burning question remains, how many more millions of smokers must die before the CDC and FDA at last ask the most important question of all.
The question? In that each and every year more nicotine addicts arrest their chemical dependence upon nicotine by going cold turkey than by all other methods combined, what is the key to successful abrupt nicotine cessation?