A double-blind trial of a nicotine inhaler for smoking cessation

JAMA. 1993 Mar 10;269(10):1268-71.


Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of a new nicotine inhaler system for smoking cessation.

Design: A 1-year, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.

Setting: Medical outpatient clinic with physicians experienced in smoking cessation assistance.

Subjects: A total of 286 volunteers who smoked at least 10 cigarettes daily recruited through a local newspaper.

Intervention: Subjects were randomly allocated to nicotine inhalers (n = 145) or placebo (n = 141) to be used for 3 months followed by tapering for 3 months in the context of minimal levels of advice and support.

Main outcome measure: Continuous smoking abstinence at weeks 6, 12, 24, and 52, verified by measurements of carbon monoxide in expired air.

Results: Continuous smoking abstinence was significantly higher for the active nicotine inhaler group compared with the placebo inhaler group. The respective success rates were 28% and 12% after 6 weeks, 21% and 9% after 12 weeks, 17% and 8% after 6 months, and 15% and 5% after 1 year (P = .02 to .001). The mean nicotine substitution based on cotinine determinations after 2 weeks was 43% (SD, 45%) of smoking levels. The treatment was well tolerated, and no serious adverse events were reported.

Conclusions: In this setting the nicotine inhaler appeared safe to use and increased success rates of smoking cessation attempts.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Carbon Monoxide / analysis
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nebulizers and Vaporizers*
  • Nicotine / administration & dosage*
  • Smoking Cessation / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Nicotine
  • Carbon Monoxide