The recent study revealed that nicotine-free plastic inhalers, so called fake cigarettes that allow smokers to simulate smoking, may help people with smoking cessation.
The nicotine-free inhalers are not electronic cigarettes and introduced in Europe as assistance for people who want to stop smoking. This aid can be used together with nicotine replacement, medications for smoking cessation and counseling.
Italian researchers, who had conducted a study, analyzed 120 smokers who were engaged in a program with smoking cessation problem. All participants smoked regularly 20 cigarettes per day during at least 10 years.
They received the aid which consisted in the use of a nicotine patch, bupropion (sold in the U.S. as Zyban), and counseling.
The participants were divided into two groups: one group used the nicotine-free plastic inhalers, and another followed the usual program.
Report forms were used to define the physical and behavioral dependence on cigarettes of the participants. After 6 months they were asked if they had been successful in smoking cessation.
There was no significant between the two groups in smoking cessation process. But participants who have been using the nicotine-free plastic inhalers showed more successful results.
People who were identified as having a habit of smoking had a quit rate of 66.7% in the group using the nicotine-free inhalers, compared with 19.2% in another group.
Researchers say that the obtained results show that smokers who have smoking as a behavioral pattern, nicotine-free inhalers could increase their chance of quitting smoking.
Riccardo Polosa, MD, PhD, a professor at the University of Catania, says that the results of the research will produce a potentially novel area of research in smoking cessation.
The nicotine-free plastic cigarettes used in the research consist of a fiber sponge filter plug soaked in naturally extracted herbal aroma oil and coated in a plastic cartridge container similar to a cigarette.
The plastic inhalers do not contain nicotine. The device is called “Paipo,” which is claimed by the manufacturers as safest for anyone using it.
“Smokers, who intend to stop smoking, have to withstand not only with the pharmacologic aspect of nicotine addiction but also with the psychological components related to tobacco dependence,” the researchers declared.
The nicotine-free plastic inhalers are targeted to substitute for the psychological part of addiction.
An online advertisement for Paipo features the product as a “cigarette alternative” and says that even though people do not smoke it, “it feels like the real thing.”
The researchers have got free supplies of the Paipo inhalers for the study, but do not report any other disclosures.
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