Your best way to stop smoking

Quitting smoking can take time and effort. What if there was a way to know in advance which of the methods to quit smoking would be best for you?

To quit smoking, it is sometimes necessary to try several methods or try several times until one gets quit. We know that strategies for quitting work for some people but not for others.

We also know that some people react adversely to a smoking cessation therapies while others have no problem.

If we could know in advance which method to quit smoking will work best for each person, then we would save time, money, and possible discomforts. Quit would be easier. A group of researchers has found just that, a way to help smokers to optimize the possibility of quitting minimizing side effects.

The study

Researchers knew that some people metabolize nicotine more slowly than others.

This idea inspired researchers to investigate whether the way the nicotine is processed in the body affects people’s response to therapy to quit smoking. Nicotine is the chemical that creates the snuff habit, smoking addiction; understand how the body processes nicotine can help you quit.

Two types of therapy were tested

These therapies were tested in both groups of smokers, those who process the ‘normal’ nicotine and those who process ‘slowly.’

The researchers recruited 1246 smokers. To determine how each processed nicotine — ‘normal’ or ‘slow’ — every smoker donated blood and in it the amounts of metabolites or nicotine products produced by the body were measured.

Smokers were divided into three groups, each group had an equivalent number of smokers who process the ‘normal’ nicotine ‘slowly.’

After 11 weeks treatment, the success of the therapy was measured when at least seven days patients had not even given a puff of a cigarette.

The results

The researchers found that the drug varenicline was more effective than the nicotine patch in individuals who metabolize nicotine ‘normal’ way. Although varenicline also helped people metabolize nicotine “slowly,” these people had more severe when using varenicline that using the nicotine patch side effects.

In short, treat smokers who process the “normal nicotine ‘varenicline and that process’ slowly’ with nicotine patches can optimize the success rate of quitting minimizing side effects.

These methods to predict which method would work best for each person are not available to the public. Perhaps in the future it is possible to customize the strategy to quit smoking, but meanwhile that time comes, consider the following.

There are many methods to quit smoking and this scientific work only two of them were studied. The important thing is not to get discouraged if the first test method does not work. Keep trying with determination to quit it will take to achieve it.

Check with your doctor before embarking on a program to quit smoking.

More information

C. Lerman, et.al., “Using the ratio of metabolites of nicotine as a genetic biomarker of response to nicotine patch or varenicline for smoking cessation: a randomized clinical trial, double-blind, placebo-controlled, “(in English) The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, January 9, 2015, pii. S2213-2600 (14) 70294-2