Source: The Australian, Wednesday 30 May 1995, p.3


Patches give cold turkey the bird

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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