There is insufficient evidence to show that using nicotine patches for four weeks before a quit attempt (known as “preloading”) improves long-term smoking abstinence, finds a trial published by The BMJ this week.
The researchers found that nicotine preloading reduces craving intensity and seems to make quitting easier, but that this beneficial effect may have been masked by a concurrent reduction in the use of varenicline in the period after quit day. As varenicline is the most effective smoking cessation drug, this may have undermined the benefit of preloading.
If it were possible to overcome this unintended consequence, nicotine preloading “could lead to a worthwhile increase in long term smoking abstinence,” they say.
The research was funded by the National Institute for Health Research.
Although there have been several new drugs for tobacco cessation since the 1970s, treatment has remained largely the same, with behavioural support to motivate and strengthen a person’s resolve to remain abstinent and drugs to reduce the strength of urges to smoke after quit day.
Some studies have suggested that using nicotine replacement therapy before a quit attempt is more effective than when used in the conventional way to support abstinence, while other studies suggest preloading has no effect.
A research team from the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies, led by Professor Paul Aveyard at the University of Oxford, set out to examine the effectiveness of a nicotine patch worn for four weeks before a quit attempt. Continue reading
Following the successful Alcohol CPD courses held in 2014-2017; we are delighted to announce the line-up for our 2018 course, featuring some exciting new inputs!
This year’s course will feature inputs from Prof. Anna Gilmore and colleagues from the University of Bath, Dr Carol Emslie from Glasgow Caledonian University, Dr James Nicholls from Alcohol Research UK, and Professor Karine Gallopel-Morvan from the EHESP School of Public Health, France. We also welcome the return of highly-rated inputs from leading experts such as Katherine Brown from the Institute of Alcohol Studies and Colin Shevills of Balance North East.
What previous participants said:
Anyone wishing to gain an in-depth understanding and up to date insight into evidence and innovative practice in alcohol policy in the UK and internationally.
Previous participants have included people working in public health, local and national alcohol policy, or alcohol research; from Iceland to New Zealand.
Places are filling up fast and the early-bird rate applies until Friday 15th June 2018!
The Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group (TAG) conducts and facilitates systematic reviews and meta-analyses of the research evidence for tobacco cessation and prevention interventions. The group was founded in 1996 and in 2016 they conducted a stakeholder engagement project to celebrate the 20th anniversary of TAG and to identify future research priorities for the group and the wider tobacco control community.
The objective of the project was to:
- Raise awareness of Cochrane TAG and what has been achieved so far.
- Identify areas where further research is needed in the areas of tobacco control and smoking cessation.
- Identify specific goals for Cochrane TAG
- To explore novel ways to disseminate the findings of tobacco research, and Cochrane TAG’s findings.
The survey and workshop resulted in 183 unanswered research questions in the areas of tobacco, quitting smoking and eight priority research areas, including:
- ‘addressing inequalities’
- ‘treatment delivery’
- electronic cigarettes’
- ‘initiating quit attempts’
- ‘young people’
- ‘mental health and substance abuse’
- ‘population-level interventions’
Stakeholders who attended the workshop also discussed ways that the public health community and Cochrane TAG could act to move the field of tobacco control forward.
Through this report, Cochrane TAG want to share the identified unanswered questions with the wider tobacco research community to help them to decide the most important research to focus on in the future, and to decide the most important things to work on for Cochrane TAG.
This will involve updating existing reviews, beginning reviews on new topics, and looking in more detail at Cochrane TAG’s research methods.
Contrary to popular belief there are still many important unanswered questions in the field of tobacco control. In addition, it has been noted that many of the results of tobacco control questions are not always reaching their intended targets. Tobacco control stakeholders provide a rich source of information on how these uncertainties should be prioritised; by using this resource the likelihood that the findings of research are useful and will be implemented is much greater. The project was carried out with the hope that researchers and research funders will be able to use the priorities identified to inform their future practice, in the same way that Cochrane TAG are using them to inform new review topics, updates of reviews and methods development.
Cochrane TAG’s findings and implementation suggestions should be considered alongside the existing evidence base and clinical expertise.
You can open the report and the appendices by clicking on the covers below:
Discussing the future of tobacco addiction research with the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group:
The CTAG taps project ran from January-December 2016. Activities carried out from April 2016-December 2016 were funded by the NIHR School for Primary Care Research (SPCR)
A Cochrane Review published today finds standardised tobacco packaging may lead to a reduction in smoking prevalence and reduces the appeal of tobacco.
According to the World Health Organisation, tobacco use kills more people worldwide than any other preventable cause of death. Global health experts believe the best way to reduce tobacco use is by stopping people starting to use tobacco and encouraging and helping existing users to stop.
The introduction of standardised (or ‘plain’) packaging was recommended by the World Health Organisation, Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) guidelines. This recommendation was based on evidence around tobacco promotion in general and studies which examined the impact of changes in packaging on knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and behaviour. Standardised tobacco packaging places restrictions on the appearance of tobacco packs so that there is a uniform colour (and in some cases shape) with no logos or branding apart from health warnings and other government-mandated information, and the brand name appears in a prescribed uniform font, colour and size.
From next month, UK legislation on standardised packaging for all tobacco packs comes into full effect.
Australia was the first country in the world to implement standardised packaging of tobacco products. The laws, which took full effect there in December 2012, also required enlarged pictorial health warnings.
A team of Cochrane researchers from the UK and Canada have summarised results from studies that examine the impact of standardised packaging on tobacco attitudes and behaviour. They have today published their findings in the Cochrane Library.
Developing and testing peer-led interventions to promote switching from smoking to vaping.
PhD Studentship ~ Closing date: 26th May 2017
Applications are invited from individuals with a strong academic record who wish to develop a career in behavioural or primary care research. The student will join the thriving Health Behaviours team in the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences who are working on range of interventions to support harm reduction and smoking cessation.
The project: The rise in popularity of electronic cigarettes (‘e-cigarettes’) in recent years has been accompanied by a growth in the number of virtual ‘vaper’ communities, with people sharing their advice and experiences of e-cigarettes with peers on internet support groups and discussion forums, many of which address ways of reducing or stopping smoking. The rise of peer to peer support is unique to e-cigarettes; no other means of stopping or reducing smoking attracts such passionate engagement from members of the public. This raises the possibility that we could better harness this peer support to enable more people to reduce or stop smoking using e-cigarettes and this project examines this. Continue reading
Are there any questions in tobacco control you would like to see answered?
The Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group would like to ask you where you would like to see further research, or where you feel that there is still uncertainty about ways to prevent or treat tobacco addiction. The prioritisation survey will be the first of its kind to identify pressing unanswered questions about the prevention and treatment of tobacco addiction.
Your questions can be in any order of importance, and they can be about policies or interventions for smoking tobacco, smokeless tobacco (e.g. snus, chewing tobacco) or waterpipe tobacco use (e.g. hookah, shisha).
The views gathered in this survey will be published in a reputable journal, and will be used to inform the future research priorities for the entire tobacco addiction research community.
Find out more about the project here.
The Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group forms part of The Cochrane Collaboration, an international not-for-profit and independent organisation which produces and disseminates systematic reviews of healthcare interventions and promotes the search for evidence in the form of clinical trials and other studies of interventions. The major product of the Collaboration is the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews which is published monthly as part of The Cochrane Library.
The Tobacco Addiction Group reviews the evidence on interventions to prevent and treat tobacco addiction. We include interventions for smoking cessation, for preventing uptake, and public policy interventions to reduce smoking prevalence. We also provide editorial support for a limited number of reviews that do not fit the remit of other Cochrane Review Groups.
The co-ordinating editor is Dr Tim Lancaster, Reader in Primary Health Care, University of Oxford. The other editors of the group are Professor Robert West, Cancer Research UK Health Behaviour Unit, Dr Paul Aveyard, University of Oxford and Professor John Hughes, University of Vermont.
The work of the group is supported by the UK Department of Health Research & Development Programme.
The Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group (TAG) was founded in 1996, making 2016 their 20th anniversary!!
To hear more about the history of the Cochrane Group Click here!
The group will be using this year to look back on the last twenty; by highlighting their achievements, holding various promotional events and planning for the future!
“More specifically our plans for 2016 are:
To disseminate our work and achievements more through blog posts, other social media, journal editorials and promotion at conferences.
- We are putting together a programme of conference promotion & dissemination. For more information on what we are getting up to and the outcomes click here.
- We are happy to announce that we have won funding from the NIHR School for Primary Care Research to carry out a project called CTAG taps. CTAG taps stands for Cochrane TAG twentieth anniversary priority setting project. For more information about this project, which will run throughout 2016 please click here
- A one day priority setting workshop at the University of Oxford on Friday 17th June 2016. This workshop is part of the CTAG taps project and will bring together tobacco control experts across research, policy making, commissioning, clinical practice and the public. The aim of the workshop is to celebrate and publicise the work of the group so far, but most importantly to help guide the aims of Cochrane TAG so our reviews meet a wide range of needs, are relevant to current trends in smoking, and therefore create the highest possible impact, whilst guarding against research wastage. For more information on our workshop please click here“