Nicotine-Free Cigarettes Increase Quitting Success


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Smokers now have a new option for quitting a cigarette addiction. According to a study conducted by researchers at the Università di Catania in Italy, published in the May 2011 edition of the European Respiratory Journal, smokers who are behaviorally dependent on the ritual of cigarette smoking are much more likely to quit successfully if they use a nicotine-free fake cigarette.

Smoking Cessation Study Details

The study followed 122 individuals enrolled in a smoking cessation program. One-half of the members were given fake, nicotine-free cigarettes to use as part of the program, while the other half received the normal quit-smoking program. Each member was surveyed to determine the degree of physical and behavioral dependence on smoking.

There was no significant difference between the successful quit-rates of the two groups overall. However, when the groups were broken down into behavioral addicts vs. nicotine addicts, the scientists observed a significant difference. Smokers who are hooked on the ritual of smoking had a 66.7% quit-rate, using the fake cigarettes, and a 19.2% quit-rate without the fake cigarettes.

Complexity of Smoking Addiction

The compulsion to continue to smoke cigarettes rests on more than the simple physical addiction to nicotine. Behavioral and Cognitive Effects of Smoking: Relationship to Nicotine Addiction, a study conducted by Stephen J. Heishman, PhD, tells us that addiction to smoking, and the withdrawal process during an attempt to quit, are affected by a number of factors.

Quit Smoking Cigarettes Based on Your Addiction Style

The type of addiction can heavily impact the success of your method of quitting.  If you don’t crave the nicotine, but are tied to the ritual of smoking at certain times of day, or during certain events, a fake cigarette will be more useful than a patch or nicotine gum. If you’re simply addicted to the nicotine, a fake nicotine-free cigarette is probably not going to be as helpful during your attempts to quit. See a physician, or attend a smoking cessation program, for individualized assistance.


Caponnetto, P., Cibella, F., Mancuso, S., Campagna, D., Arcidiacono, G., Polosa, R. Effect of a nicotine free inhalator as part of a smoking cessation program. European Respiratory Journal. DOI: 10.1183/09031936.0109610

Heishman, S., Behavioral and cognitive effects of smoking: Relationship to nicotine addiction. Nicotine Tob Res (1999) 1(Suppl 2): S143-S147.

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