If you’re a smoker and you find it difficult to stop smoking, there is one study that aims to help you. According to a group of researchers who collaborated with the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, how you metabolize nicotine may have a role in determining the best type of strategy for smoking cessation for you.
Nicotine Metabolism Rate
Nicotine metabolism rate was discovered to have an effect on whether or not a smoker could stay away from smoking for good. According to the mentioned study, people who smoke and yet have normal metabolism levels for nicotine usually have no problem quitting smoking with the aid of varenicline therapy. This kind of therapy involves a pill popularly known as Chantix and does not require nicotine replacement, unlike when using nicotine patch.
Meanwhile, those who have slow nicotine metabolism rate, the nicotine patch seems to be the better option than the varenicline therapy. While the pill therapy is also effective on those who have slow metabolism, they experienced more unwanted symptoms of withdrawal. This is why the placebo patch is still considered the more fitting for them.
How Nicotine Metabolism Affects Quitting Smoking Success
For quite some time, many experts have known and believed that smokers have different ability and timeframes when it comes to removing nicotine from their bodies. There are people who can eliminate nicotine faster than others and therefore they usually have no problems staying away from cigarettes. However, it remained a theory particularly because there wasn’t a measurable trait – until nicotine metabolite ratio or NMR was discovered. NMR is now used by researchers to help optimize treatment for the smokers and in order for them to have better results after the cessation process.
In the study, there were more than 1,200 smokers with more than half categorized as slow metabolizers. For 11 weeks, they underwent both the pill and the placebo treatment. All of them also received counseling for their behaviors. After the study was finished, those with normal NMR were predicted to have the ability to say no to cigarettes twice more than those who have slow metabolism. Nevertheless, those with slower metabolic rate for nicotine are still able to remove cigarettes in their life, but their reactions were much better with the nicotine patch therapy.
This study was published in the Lancet Respiratory Medicine and the researchers believe it is time to put the observation into clinical practice. The smokers will undergo a blood test to determine how fast they metabolize nicotine and this could help them discover the better treatment option for them.