Twelve-Week Outcomes From an Investigation of High-Dose Nicotine Patch Therapy for Heavy Smokers With a Past History of Alcohol Dependence

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This study reports findings from an investigation of the efficacy of high-dose nicotine patch (NP) therapy for heavy smokers with a past history of alcohol dependence. One hundred thirty participants were randomly assigned to 42 mg or 21 mg of transdermal nicotine for 4 weeks, followed by an 8-week dose titration. Follow-up assessments were conducted at 4 and 12 weeks. Differences between dose conditions were nonsignificant, although unexpectedly, outcomes favored participants in the 21-mg NP condition. Nicotine abstinence at follow-up was related to longer length of alcohol abstinence at time of enrollment. Future research should investigate ways to improve smoking quit rates in this population, including more frequent counseling sessions and/or other pharmacotherapies. These investigations should focus primarily on smokers in early alcohol recovery.

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