, Volume 187, Issue 4, pp 476-485
Date: 01 Aug 2006

Preferences among four combination nicotine treatments

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Acute nicotine replacement treatments (NRTs) are disliked or misused, leading to insufficient nicotine intake and poor outcome. Patches provide steady nicotine but are slow and passive. Combining systems may improve efficacy with acute NRTs tailored for compliance.


To test initial reactions to and use preferences among combinations of NRTs.

Materials and methods

Smokers (n=27) tested four combination NRTs in a 5-day crossover trial: 2/4-mg gum + 15-mg patch (G/P), 2/4-mg lozenges + 15-mg patch (L/P), inhaler + 15-mg patch (I/P), and 10 mg + 15-mg patches (P/P). Subjects rated an NRT combination each day after 5–6 h of use and ranked among the NRTs after testing all treatments.


Double-patches (P/P) were ranked highest for “ease of use”, “safety”, and “use in public”. However, for “help to quit”, 70% preferred some form of acute-patch combination (A/P) compared to 30% choosing P/P. For “use under stress” (an immediate need), 93% preferred A/P systems compared to 7% choosing P/P. L/P ranked lowest for “ease of use”, I/P and L/P were lowest on “safety”, and I/P ranked lowest for “use in public”. Expectations of NRTs changed with test experience for patches (better) and lozenges (worse).


In brief testing, all combinations were acceptable. P/P was favored for ease, safety, and public use, but a majority chose A/P systems for help in quitting and use under stress. Combined use is viable and needs to be made known and accessible to smokers.