Source: The Australian, Wednesday 30 May 1995, p.3
By MICHELLE COFFEY and MATT ROBBINS THE introduction of nicotine patches has revolutionised the campaign to stop Australians smoking and could surpass going "cold turkey" as the most popular form of quitting, a smoking cessation expert has chimed. A consultant in nicotine addiction at Sydney's St Vin- cent's Clinic, Ms Renee Bit-toun, said ex-smokers were almost twice as likely to relapse if they simply gave up cigarettes without any nicotine -replacement aids as they were it they used patches. Ms Bittoun attributed the prevalence of patches in NSW - where they are six times more likely to be used by people wanting to give up smoking than those in Victoria-for that State having the highest quit rate in the country. A Newspoll report released yesterday found 28.8 per cent of the estimated halt-million Australians who have quit smoking in the past two years were from NSW. Western Australia came second (22.3 per cent), followed by Queensland (12.0 per cent) and Tasmania (103 per cent). Victorian smok- ers fared poorly (9.7 per cent), with only South Australia having a lower rate (4.7 per cent). The report, Our Nicotine Addiction: New Australian Trends in Smoking Cessation which surveyed more than 600 reformed and current smokers found that 75 per cent of people who had quit successfully in the past two years had done so by going "cold turkey', compared with 11.3 per cent using a nicotine patch. However, Ms Bittoun said 62 per cent of people who gave up cigarettes without a nicotine aid took up the habit again within two weeks. In comparison, more than 60 per cent of people who quit with patches had not relapsed within the same period. "With a patch, the brain receives nicotine in low doses- about a quarter of that from a cigarette-but you get it slowly and constantly, not on and off.
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