Recycling with nicotine patches in smoking cessation

Addiction. 1993 Apr;88(4):533-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.1993.tb02060.x.


The aim was to evaluate if recycling of failures from a smoking cessation study may be of value. The study comprised 126 smokers (50%) of 252 failures, from a double-blind smoking cessation trial with nicotine patch, who accepted recycling after 1 year. Subjects were allocated nicotine patches delivering 15, 20 or 25 mg of nicotine (over 16 hours) according to their base-line saliva cotinine concentrations in an open trial. The treatment period was 12 weeks followed by tapering over 6 weeks. The percentage of quitters after 3, 12, 26, and 52 weeks was 44, 20, 7 and 6%, respectively. After 26 weeks, all subjects had relapsed in the group previously treated with active nicotine patch compared with 12% abstainers in the previous placebo subjects. The sustained abstinence rate without slips after one year was 2%. Recycling does not seem to be of long-term clinical relevance in our set-up for subjects initially treated with nicotine, but of some value in subjects quitting without nicotine therapy initially.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cotinine / pharmacokinetics
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nicotine / administration & dosage*
  • Nicotine / adverse effects
  • Recurrence
  • Saliva / metabolism
  • Smoking Cessation*
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / etiology


  • Nicotine
  • Cotinine