Science and Health

Will A Combo Approach Really Help You Quit Smoking?

An industry-funded study found combining both Chantix and a nicotine patch helped smokers quit short-term.

Will A Combo Approach Really Help You Quit Smoking?
Miles Willis / Stringer / Getty Images

A new industry-funded study found combining two anti-smoking approaches helps users kick the habit. According to the study, using both Chantix — a prescription drug — and a nicotine patch improved the odds of quitting over a short term. (Via Miles Willis / Stringer / Getty Images | Flickr / Julie Vazquez | Flickr / Joe Plocki)

But before we go any further, we should mention the study was funded in part by Chantix, as well as makers of nicotine patches. 

446 smokers, mostly women, were randomly assigned to two groups. One took Chantix and a nicotine patch. The other group had just the patch with a placebo.

HealthDay reports after six months, there was still a 49 percent quit rate amongst the group with the combo of Chantix and the patch, and a 33 percent quit rate amongst the placebo group.

As far as side effects, the study says the group receiving the combo treatments had issues with nausea, sleeplessness and constipation to name a few. 

And then there's the question of whether combining the two is even a good idea in the first place. Two licensed pharmacists on Sharecare recommended against combining Chantix with any other nicotine replacement therapies.

And according to the Food and Drug Administration, those who take Chantix may be at a higher risk for stroke and heart attack. However, continuing to smoke is a major risk for cardiovascular disease, the FDA said.

An expert told HealthDay more studies need to be done to confirm it's safe to combine Chantix with a patch, but did mention the combo appears to be safe. 

Although a writer for The News Ledge pointed out: "That should tell you all you need to know about trying this method. 'Appears to be safe' aren't the words you want coming out of your doctor's mouth."

The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association's July 9 issue.