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A randomised clinical trial of nicotine patches for treatment of spit tobacco addiction among adolescents
  1. R C Stotts1,
  2. P K Roberson2,
  3. E Y Hanna2,
  4. S K Jones2,
  5. C K Smith2
  1. 1University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, Tennessee, USA
  2. 2University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Craig Stotts
 817 Cobblestone Circle, North Little Rock, AR 72116, USA;


Background:This study tested the efficacy of nicotine patches in combination with behavioural therapy for the treatment of adolescent spit tobacco addiction. Prior interventions had resulted in mean cessation rates below 15% at one year.

Methods:This study, the PATCH Project, used a three group, placebo controlled, randomised clinical trial design. The control group received a standard 3–5 minute counselling followed by a two week follow up phone call. The two intervention groups received a six week behavioural intervention; in addition, one group received active nicotine patches while the other group received placebo patches. Both groups received quarterly stage based telephone counselling.

Results:At one year, the usual care group’s spit tobacco cessation rate was 11.4% (exact 95% confidence interval (CI) 6.1% to 19.1%), placebo patch 25.0% (95% CI 16.9% to 34.7%), and the active patch 17.3% (95% CI 10.4% to 26.3%). When both patch groups were combined, the cessation rate was 21.2% (95% CI 15.7% to 27.6%). The cessation rates for active and placebo patch were not significantly different (exact two sided p  =  0.22), while the combined patch groups had a significantly greater cessation rate than usual care (exact two sided p  =  0.04).

Conclusions:The behavioural intervention proved to be about twice as successful as previous interventions, but the nicotine patch offered no improvement in cessation rates. The behavioural intervention is based on publicly available materials and can be easily adapted for widespread use, particularly in high schools.

  • smokeless tobacco
  • spit tobacco
  • tobacco cessation
  • adolescent

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