What does the evidence show about the effectiveness of smoking cessation products?
A review of the published evidence indicates that cessation products have been effective in helping people quit smoking. A 2009 meta-analysis of 18 published trials evaluated the effectiveness of 6 treatments of quitting smoking. There was no conclusive evidence that the products were effective over a 12-month period of follow-up. The study did find that a product that reduced symptoms such as nausea and coughing by 2% or greater may be an effective treatment for quitting.
A 2007 Cochrane review, which reviewed all published trials of cessation products, found the products to be effective for smoking cessation. The meta-analysis also found that products are effective when used together with other smoking cessation treatments, such as nicotine replacement therapy, exercise and diet. The review concluded that cessation products were generally effective, and found a large group of trials that showed a reduction in smoking among people using the products. However, the products were more effective when used alone. Finally, a 2015 Cochrane review examined the effectiveness of 5 products for quitting smoking: nicotine patches, nicotine gums, nicotine inhalers, nicotine patches and nicotine lozenges. The review of the 5 products found that they all showed efficacy when combined. The reviewers concluded that the studies were strong and that the products were effective in helping people quit smoking.