Intended for healthcare professionals


PapersNicotine nasal spray with nicotine patch for smoking cessation: randomised trial with six year follow upCommentary: Progress on nicotine replacement therapy for smokers

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 30 January 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:285

Addiction to Nicotine

I am concerned about the addictive nature of nicotine in the use of
nicotine patches,gum and nasal sprays. This aspect of treatment seems to
be neglected in the majority of articles dealing with the use of these
patches, gum or sprays in stopping smoking. I can see that stopping
smoking is of prime importance to a person's health, but an addiction to
nicotine also has long term irreversible problems.

Recently several patients have reported all the classic symptoms of
addiction in trying to stop using the patches. The use of nasal sprays
may" mimic the extremely rapid, rewarding,high arterial nicotine
concentrations from inhaled tobacco smoke",but seems potentially even more
addictive than nicotine patches or gum.

In the effort to stop people smoking I do not think the addictive
property of nicotine should be ignored, the patient has a right to know of
the potential risks.

Competing interests: No competing interests

04 February 1999
Roger Smith
Primary Care Specialist in Drug Dependency
Community Health Sheffield