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Improving the Odds

 
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 2:53 pm    Post subject: Improving the Odds Reply with quote

According to the American Cancer Society, the most important factor in successfully quitting is resolve. If a smoker is highly motivated to quit, and knows about the challenges ahead and is prepared to deal with them, success rates are much higher than normal. Even then it often takes numerous serious attempts at quitting over several years.

But there are ways to help move the odds in the quitter’s favor. When combining raw will power with aids such as nicotine replacement therapies (patch, inhaler, lozenge, gum and nasal spray), pharmaceutical agents (bupropion and varenicline) and good old-fashioned social support (a friend or family member) quit rates rise dramatically—doubling, tripling or more.

Genetics may contribute one day to further improving the odds of quitting. A study published in the Sept. 15 issue of Biological Psychiatry found that genes strongly affect quit rates in those using the antidepressant bupropion. People with a certain gene responsible for metabolizing both the drug and nicotine were more than two times as likely to quit using bupropion compared with placebo. Interestingly, those without the gene were just as likely to quit using either bupropion or placebo. Quit rates were almost equal, at approximately 32 percent, for all but the first placebo group.
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