University Of Tasmania

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Providing accurate safety information may increase a smoker's willingness to use nicotine replacement therapy as part of a quit attempt

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-17, 05:59 authored by Stuart FergusonStuart Ferguson, Gitchell, JG, Shiffman, S, Sembower, MA, Rohay, JM, J Allen
Aim: Previous studies have reported that smokers who are misinformed about the safety of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) are less likely to report using it. In this study, we examined whether providing information that counters these concerns might impact on intentions to use NRT. Participants: 900 smokers recruited from a market research database. Design and setting: Participants completed an online survey that asked about their views about NRT. Smokers with safety and efficacy concerns were queried to determine whether accurate information might increase their interest in using NRT. Findings: Misperceptions of NRT safetywere common: 93% of smokers did not knowthatsmoking while wearing the nicotine patch does not cause heart attacks; 76% that nicotine gum/lozenge are not as addictive as cigarettes; and 69% that NRT products are not as dangerous as cigarettes. Over half of the smokers with misperceptions reported that they would be more likely to use NRT to help them quit smoking if they were exposed to information correcting their concerns (53%, 58% and 66%, respectively, for each of the misperceptions). Conclusions: These data suggest that while a sizeable proportion of smokers are still misinformed about the safety of NRT, misinformed smokers would increase consideration of NRT if these misperceptions are addressed by corrective information.


Publication title

Addictive Behaviors: An International Journal










School of Pharmacy and Pharmacology



Place of publication

United Kingdom

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Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Preventive medicine

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