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Giving up the smokes

Jan 21, 2015 02:00PM ● By Cate Reynolds
Smoking secession may have gotten a little easier just in time to help those already suffering from mental disorders—not to mention the rest of the smoking world.

According to a new study published in the Lancet journal, a blood test could help people choose a stop-smoking strategy that would give them the best chance of quitting. It is believed that discovering how quickly a person breaks nicotine down could boost their chances of success.

Some scientists suggest that smokers who break down nicotine more quickly may crave more nicotine when the levels drop, prompting them to smoke again. A study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania used more than 1,200 volunteers who either wore a patch, took a medication called varenicline (a non-nicotine prescription drug), or were given a placebo. Then the subjects were given blood tests.

People who broke down nicotine at a normal rate had a better chance of quitting while using the prescription drug than those using the nicotine-replacement patches.

These are early times in the research of this treatment. A broader study is required. Additionally, experts point out that the cost-effectiveness of the blood tests also needs to be taken into account.

--Sarah Hagerty
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