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Physiology & Medicine
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06/03/2003 12:43:34 »
The idea that men are from Mars and women are from Venus has received another boost, as researchers have discovered that sex differences may play a role in trying to quit smoking.
A new report on smoking cessation and gender suggests that women smokers have a higher behavioral dependence on cigarettes and a lower nicotine dependence than men. The authors recommend that nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and behavioral treatment be specifically tailored to women to increase their chances of quitting for good. Women smokers using NRT to quit may receive an added benefit from the use of the Nicotrol(r) Inhaler (nicotine inhalation system) because of its potential to replace some of the oral, handling and sensory reinforcements of smoking, the report notes. The importance of such an effect in smoking cessation is yet unknown.
"Our study showed that women appear to have higher behavioral and lower nicotine dependence than men," said study lead author Abraham Bohadana, MD, Research Director, French National Institute of Health. "The nicotine inhaler may be a good tool for women as it not only provides nicotine craving relief but also seems to satisfy the 'hand-to-mouth' habit smokers are used to."
The French study, published in the February 2003 issue of Nicotine & Tobacco Research, also demonstrated that men trying to quit smoking had a higher success rate than women regardless of which method of NRT they used. This study was investigational; combination nicotine replacement therapy has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
"These findings tell us that men and women may require different tools to help them meet the challenge of quitting cigarettes," said Gregory S. McCormick, Vice President of Marketing, Pharmacia Consumer Healthcare, the makers of Nicotrol tobacco dependence therapies. "Knowing that counsel and support can further increase a smoker's chances of quitting, we hope that people wanting to quit will also utilize behavior modification and support programs, such as Pathways to Change, the American Cancer Society's Break Away from the Pack and the Nicotrol Helping Hand program."
Study Design and Findings
The study is derived from a smoking cessation trial sponsored by Pharmacia Consumer Healthcare that followed, over a one-year period, 400 adult smokers (196 men and 204 women) who wanted to quit. The double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial was conducted between March 1996 and February 1998 in Nancy, France. The subjects were randomly and evenly divided between those receiving both a nicotine inhaler (NI) and nicotine patches (NP) for six weeks, then nicotine inhaler and placebo patches for six weeks, and those receiving the nicotine inhaler with placebo patches (PP) for12 weeks. Both groups then received only the inhalers for another 14 weeks. The subjects had the following abstinence rates at six months (an expired carbon monoxide level of 10 parts per million (ppm) or lower):
* Men with combination therapy (nicotine inhaler plus nicotine patch): 33 percent
* Women with combination therapy (nicotine inhaler plus nicotine patch): 17 percent
* Gender difference: 16 percent
* Men with monotherapy (nicotine inhaler plus placebo patch): 27 percent
* Women with monotherapy (nicotine inhaler plus placebo patch): 18 percent
* Gender difference: 9 percent
The study also showed a gender difference between men and women trying to quit smoking. When men and women were divided by treatment, gender differences appeared to be more prominent in the group that received combination therapy (both the nicotine inhaler and the nicotine patch), ranging from 20 percent at six weeks to 16 percent at six months to 13 percent at one year. Further, at the-six month mark, men who received more nicotine (combination therapy) achieved a significantly higher quit rate than men who did not, while women in either group demonstrated nearly equal quit rates, indicating that men may require higher levels of nicotine replacement than women.
The study examined these gender-related differences in the trial's cessation outcome measures, and focused on how these differences, if any, were influenced by objectively assessed baseline smoking behavior. The day before quit day, the study subjects were given questionnaires that assessed their reasons for stopping smoking, the degree of nicotine dependence (Fagerstrom Test for Nicotine Dependence, FTND) and baseline smoking behavior (Glover-Nilsson Smoking Behavioral Questionnaire, GN-SBQ). The GN-SBQ comparison showed significant male to female differences, with females showing higher scores than males for gesture, cognitive factors, anti-panic and social coping components of smoking behavior at baseline. Overall, women had significantly higher GN-SBQ scores than men, indicating a more pronounced behavioral component. In contrast, baseline FTND score was significantly higher among men than among women (6.44 vs. 5.99; p=0.018), indicating somewhat greater nicotine dependence among men. This difference observed at the beginning of the study remained statistically significant from week 2 to 12 months (males 6.13 vs. females 5.5; p=0.032).
Patients included adults, aged 18 to 70 years old, who smoked 10 or more cigarettes per day for three or more years, had an expired carbon monoxide level of 10 parts per million (ppm) or greater, had made at least one previous attempt to quit, and were personally motivated to stop smoking.
The study was co-authored by Yves Martinet, MD, PhD, Chief, Department of Pulmonary Disease, University Hospital of Nancy, France; and by Fredrik Nilsson, MSc, and Thomas Rasmussen, MSc, of Pharmacia Corporation in Helsingborg, Sweden. It was supported by a grant from the Consumer Healthcare division of Pharmacia Corporation.
About the Nicotrol Inhaler
Available only by prescription, the Nicotrol Inhaler consists of a mouthpiece and a cartridge containing a nicotine-impregnated plug. The smoker inhales through the mouthpiece, using either shallow or deep puffs. The inhaled air becomes saturated with nicotine, which is absorbed mainly through the tissues of the mouth. The Inhaler releases less nicotine per puff than a cigarette and does not contain a cigarette's harmful tars, carbon monoxide and smoke. Treatment up to three months and, if needed, a gradual reduction over the next six to 12 weeks is recommended. Total treatment should not exceed six months.
The Nicotrol Inhaler may cause side effects. The most frequently reported side effects were local irritation in throat and mouth, coughing, runny nose and upset stomach. The majority of patients rated cough, mouth and throat irritation symptoms as mild, decreasing with continued use. Smokers must stop smoking completely before using the Nicotrol Inhaler, and should not use the Inhaler with other products containing nicotine. For more information, visit
or call 1-888-NICOTROL (for consumers) or 1-800-323-4204 (for health professionals). Nicotrol Inhaler therapy is recommended for use as part of a comprehensive behavioral smoking cessation program.
About the Nicotrol Step-down Patch
The non-prescription Nicotrol Step-down Patch is specifically designed to deliver a continuous, controlled dose of nicotine over 16 hours--the time a smoker is usually awake. In clinical studies, patients using the Nicotrol Step-down Patch reported a very low incidence of sleep disturbances. Other patches, when worn at night, may cause smokers to have vivid dreams and sleep disturbances. Clinical data show that the use of nicotine replacement therapy, including the Nicotrol Step-down Patch, can increase a smoker's chances of success versus cold turkey. The Nicotrol Step-down Patch should be used as part of a comprehensive behavioral modification program.
Neilep Level Member
Re: Stopping smoking
Reply #1 on:
22/04/2003 13:09:41 »
I've heard some people have a "More addictive" personality than others as in they are more likely to become reliant on things such as tabs and booze more than others, is this true?
Neilep Level Member
The Naked Scientist
Re: Stopping smoking
Reply #2 on:
23/04/2003 19:28:45 »
Researchers found last year that individuals from different parts of the world break down nicotine at different rates, helping to explain the differences in lung cancer patterns seen amongst these groups :
Also, there have been suggestions that excessive drinking behaviour seen amongst Australian Aborigines may be explained by the above-average prevalence of a gene encoding a receptor for dopamine, one of the brain's pleasure hormones.
Furthermore, experiments have shown that smoking cigarettes strongly blocks the action of a brain enzyme called Monoamine Oxidase B (MAO B) which breaks down dopamine (amongst other things). Inhibiting this enzyme boosts the level of dopamine in the brain, reinforcing the pleasure that smoking a cigarette brings to an addict. This probably also explains why depressed [
] people smoke much more heavily - by inihibiting their MAO B they are pushing up the levels of dopamine in their brains, helping them to feel happier [^]
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