New York: Nicotine patches may help smokers recover from any initial setbacks in their attempt to kick the habit, a new U.S. study suggests."The clear implication is that you shouldn`t give up, you should stay on the treatment with patch," said Saul Shiffman, one of the study`s authors from the University of Pittsburgh.People who "lapse," or give in to nicotine cravings when trying to quit, are at high risk of giving up and returning to smoking.But contrary to common perception, they haven`t failed at quitting and may get over initial lapses by continuing to use the patch, Shiffman said.His team`s study, published in the journal Addiction, suggests that along with helping people stop smoking in the first place, nicotine patches could also boost their chances of recovering from occasional lapses while trying to quit.Experts say most people trying to break the habit manage to do so at first, but are unable to sustain their quit attempt over the long run."Patch can help overcome these lapses. We`re ignoring what could be a very important benefit of treatment," Shiffman said.According to the American Lung Association, more than 443,000 Americans die from smoking-related diseases each year. Cigarette smoke contains thousands of chemicals, including tar, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and toxins known to cause cancer.Nicotine patches, usually applied on the arm, reduce withdrawal symptoms such as headache and nausea in those who give up smoking. They supply lower doses of nicotine than found in most cigarettes -- without all the other extra chemicals.
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