Nicotine Replacement Therapy Is Safe, Effective
In light of today's announcement by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that it has removed a prescription anti-smoking pill from their approved list of safe medications for pilots and air-traffic controllers, it's important to note this news does not include nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) which is deemed safe and effective. Further, recent research has found the Commit 4 mg lozenge has been clinically proven to help reverse nicotine withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting smoking including the following: difficulty concentrating, attention deficit, short-term memory deficit and selective attention deficit -- some of the issues at the core of today's report.
In 1994, the FAA requested the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) assemble an expert panel to examine the effects of smoking and tobacco addiction and withdrawal on pilot performance and airline safety. As part of the panel's conclusion, they found NRT to be safe, effective treatment option for pilots who smoke. Those recommendations stand to this day.
"Nicotine withdrawal is a serious issue for pilots who are in the process of quitting smoking, and today's news could have a dramatic impact on these individuals," said Jack E. Henningfield, Ph.D., Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Vice President Research & Health Policy, Pinney Associates, and consultant for GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare. "What they need to understand is that NRT such as the Commit lozenge is safe for quitters, including pilots who use it while flying, and can help with the serious effects of withdrawal."
Smoking remains one of the leading causes of preventable death and disease and one of the most powerful and important addictions to break and many smokers can't do it alone. Evidence-based treatments, such as NRT offer a better chance of quitting versus cold turkey, where only 3-5 percent of smokers are successful long-term.
Nicotine replacement therapy including the Commit lozenge, Nicorette gum and NicoDerm CQ patch can help relieve withdrawal symptoms and cravings during smoking cessation. More than 110 studies involving approximately 40,000 smokers have demonstrated the safety of NRT even in populations with specific health conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, lung disease, and existing heart disease.