Nicotine preloading: the importance of a pre-cessation reduction in smoking behavior
In their recent article in Psychopharmacology, Lindson and Aveyard (2011) present an extensive analysis of nicotine “preloading,” or initiation of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) during the weeks prior to a target quit date. They conclude that there is only a weak beneficial effect of nicotine preloading on smoking abstinence, and that there is a great deal of variability in results across studies. Moreover, they examine several variables as potential moderators and mediators of the effect of nicotine preloading, but conclude that none of these variables convincingly explains the efficacy of this treatment strategy.
While thorough in many respects, however, the review does not include a growing body of evidence identifying pre-cessation smoking reduction as a key variable that is highly predictive of the therapeutic effects of pre-cessation NRT. Some of this evidence has been published since the date of submission of the Lindson and Aveyard (2011) review and some was presented in...
KeywordsNicotine Nicotine Replacement Therapy Varenicline Nicotine Patch Abstinence Rate
This work was supported by National Institute on Drug Abuse grant 5P50 DA027840-01. The author also receives grant funding from Philip Morris USA.
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