Nicotine lozenges have been shown to increase tobacco abstinence rates in cigarette smokers, but they have not been evaluated in smokeless tobacco (ST) users. We conducted an open-label, one-arm, phase II clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy of the 4-mg nicotine lozenge for the treatment of withdrawal and craving associated with tobacco abstinence among ST users. Eligible subjects received 4-mg nicotine lozenges for 6 weeks followed by a 6-week taper. Subjects completed daily tobacco withdrawal diaries, and data on lozenge use, adverse events, and lozenge acceptability were collected. Urine anabasine was collected at 3 and 6 months for biochemical confirmation of self-reported tobacco abstinence. Participants were 30 ST users with a mean age of 35.4 years (SD=6.5) using an average of 4.2 cans or pouches (SD=3.2) of ST per week for a mean of 15.1 years (SD=6.5). Among subjects continuously tobacco abstinent for the first 2 weeks, no significant increases in composite withdrawal symptoms were observed, compared with baseline symptoms, whereas craving decreased significantly. Biochemically confirmed 7-day point-prevalence tobacco abstinence was 53% (95% CI=34%-72%) at 12 weeks (end of treatment) and 47% (95% CI=28%-66%) at 6 months. Few adverse events attributable to the nicotine lozenge occurred, and the lozenge was perceived as helpful in assisting subjects quit ST. The use of the 4-mg nicotine lozenge appears promising for the clinical treatment of withdrawal symptoms and craving associated with tobacco abstinence in ST users. Future phase III clinical trials investigating the efficacy of nicotine lozenges are warranted.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health