Nicotine Preloading Cure For Smoking
Gentle reader, let me ask you a hypothetical question. If you were in the unhappy position of being a smoker (i.e., nicotine addict), and you wanted to escape this predicament, do you think it would be a good idea to put more nicotine into your body before you even tried to quit?
I have written before about this cockeyed idea in connection with the self-proclaimed Tobacco Treatment Specialist, Dr Colin Mendelsohn. And now Professor Paul Aveyard, whom I have also mentioned recently in connection with the Hopelessy Smitten With E-Cigarettes syndrome, has had a paper published in the doughty British Medical Journal in which he describes a proper scientific trial he carried out to discover whether using nicotine patches before attempting to quit did or did not assist long-term abstinence from smoking.
The theory underpinning this curious idea was derived from a study published twenty years ago with the turgid title of ‘Importance of Chronopharmacokinetics in Design and Evaluation of Transdermal Drug Delivery Systems’ (Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics May 1998, 285 (2) 457-463). It seems if you can densenitise nicotine receptors in the brain by a constant supply of nicotine, then the cravings to smoke will be attenuated.
Unfortunately, the result, in the highfalutin prose commonly found in medical journals, was expressed thus:
Evidence was insufficient to confidently show that nicotine preloading increases subsequent smoking abstinence.
In other words, it was useless.
One reason for this disappointing result, no doubt, is that the good Professor, like so many struggling to solve the smoking problem, took the idea of ‘craving’ at its face value.
But what does it actually mean? The word suggests someone on their hands and knees, slavering at the mouth. However, if you ask smokers to tell you what they feel when the desire to smoke comes upon them, it is very rare for the word ‘craving’ to be mentioned.
What most smokers will eventually say, when they find the words to describe the vague discomfort they feel, is that they are not in any kind of physical pain but are merely thinking about smoking a lot.
It is this psychological aspect of smoking that is almost entirely neglected by orthodox researchers. But it contains the key to easy quitting, as I explain in my books.
Why is smoking regarded by orthodox researchers as a problem for which the solution is to be found through a purely mechanistic approach? Even though Professor Aveyard notes in the introduction to his paper that
…since the 1970s, the paradigm of treatment has remained largely the same, with no major advances in success rates
he still sticks to a nicotine-based treatment for nicotine addiction.
He collected two groups of nearly a thousand smokers. In one group, each participant was given 21mg nicotine patches to stick on their arm daily for four weeks before attending a stop smoking service. The other group was treated similarly but without the patches. The result was as stated above.
Rather than spending more money and effort on this kind of research to help people quit smoking, how about trying a different approach – without nicotine, drugs or gimmicks?
Text © Gabriel Symonds