Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Nicotine Replacement Therapy Scam

Over the last year, I have read more than my fill of theories on smoking cessation. I have seen some amazing claims made by people about Nicotine Replacement Therapies (NRTs) or selling herbal and other remedies.

The simple fact of the matter is that smoking is the response to an addiction to nicotine. People smoke because they have a physical need for nicotine and the place to get it quickly is through a cigarette or other tobacco product.

The pharmaceutical industry claims that nicotine replacement is an effective way of quitting smoking. They are missing the point in order to make a profit.

It is far more likely that people who quit smoking will stay quit if they are no longer in the throes of nicotine addiction. To this end, nicotine replacement therapies have very low long term (26 and 52 week) success rates because they maintain nicotine addiction.

NRT patients are frequently still addicted to nicotine many months after quitting smoking - if they are successful in quitting smoking at all - and it is not uncommon to find former smokers still chewing nicotine replacement gum or lozenges even years after stopping smoking.

The pharmaceutical companies do not mind this situation though as they have effectively stolen a customer from the tobacco industry and turned them into a long-term customer of the pharmaceutical industry.

The rouse doesn't end there either. Tobacco is heavily taxed whereas nicotine replacement therapies are not. The tobacco companies make very healthy profits from selling tobacco products despite up to 80% of the price being taxes and duties.

The manufacturing costs of nicotine replacement therapies are only marginally higher than those of cigarettes and the like. The selling price of nicotine replacement therapies is only marginally lower than tobacco products, despite the bulk of cigarette costs being taxes and duties. To this end the pharmaceutical companies are making huge profits on nicotine replacement therapy products by taking the 'tax chunk' as profit.

Nicotine replacement therapies do not work effectively in the long run and that has been shown on many occasions and in many studies. These therapies are used as a means of profiting from nicotine addiction with little interest in the welfare of the smoker themselves.

The only genuine method of overcoming smoking is through change of attitude and it is proven that the most effective methods for quitting smoking do not rely on any form of substitution, whether nicotine or some other herbal remedy. Long-term smoking cessation is only readily achieved when smokers can understand and master their addiction and understand how to control it. Knowing how to change ones attitude to cigarettes is the key to success.