Objective: To follow-up abstainers from the end of their initial treatment over seven points to 10 years.
Methods: In the original study there were 305 smokers who were recruited in a double-blind randomised controlled trial. Those subjects who had remained continuously abstinent to seven years (n=20) were followed up to ascertain continuous smoking prevalence to 10 years. Main outcome measure was continuous abstinence.
Results: At 10 years, the active nicotine patch group showed significantly higher continuous abstinence rates that were double those of the placebo group (7.9% vs. 2.6%, respectively). The high rate of relapse declined after six months.
Conclusions: The nicotine patch leads to superior continuous abstinence over 10 years when compared with placebo.
Public health implications: This is the longest follow-up study of continuous smoking abstinence after cognitive behaviour treatment combined with the nicotine patch.