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Grant for Professor Marcus Munafò

8 December 2011

Grant for £376k to trial the effect of nicotine patch preloading on smoking cessation to Professor Marcus Munafò.

Grant for £376k to trial the effect of nicotine patch preloading on smoking cessation to Professor Marcus Munafò (local study lead; PI is Paul Aveyard, University of Birmingham).

Smokers find stopping difficult because when they try they suffer urges to smoke, which compel them to smoke again. Pharmacotherapy (e.g., via a nicotine patch) for smoking cessation reduces the intensity and frequency of these urges, but does not abolish them entirely. Consequently most quitters will return to smoking by the end of their treatment.

In this work, funded by the National Institute of Health Research, we explore whether wearing a nicotine patch prior to stopping smoking improves quit success; evidence suggests that this nicotine patch “preloading” leads to the ‘unlearning’ of the association between smoking and pharmacological reward of cigarettes, principally derived from nicotine. The trial is being led by the University of Birmingham, under the auspices of the UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies, and the University of Bristol will be a data collection site.

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