Smokers' interest in using nicotine replacement to aid smoking reduction.Nicotine Tob Res. 2007 Nov; 9(11):1177-82.NT
In recent years the public health community has considered the risks and benefits of encouraging smokers to reduce their smoking, perhaps with the aid of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). Little is known, however, about whether smokers themselves are interested in smoking reduction; whether they see reduction as an endpoint, or primarily as a route to cessation; or whether they are receptive to the notion of using NRT to achieve reduction. We conducted a population-based national telephone survey of 1,000 current daily cigarette smokers (499 male, 501 female). Most smokers (57%) reported previously trying to reduce their smoking, and many (26%) said that they plan to reduce within the next year. Almost half of those planning to quit in the next 12 months (44%) preferred to quit via gradual cessation and most (68%) indicated that they would consider using a reduction product or medication. Respondents reported that they would prefer a product with a cessation endpoint rather than a reduction endpoint (63% vs. 21%). Interest in reduction was highest among smokers who were less interested in quitting and among heavier smokers. We conclude that many smokers are interested in gradually reducing prior to quitting and that promoting reduction is unlikely to undermine motivation to quit smoking.