Transdermal nicotine for smoking cessation in postmenopausal women

Cheryl Oncken, Judith Cooney, Richard Feinn, Harry Lando, Henry R. Kranzler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


This study examined the efficacy of transdermal nicotine in postmenopausal smokers, and whether a history of depression or hormone replacement therapy (HRT) moderated smoking cessation outcomes. Postmenopausal smokers (N = 152) received intensive smoking cessation counseling and were randomly assigned to use either a 21-mg nicotine patch for 3 months, with a 1-month taper, or a placebo patch. The primary outcome was biochemically validated 7-day point prevalence smoking abstinence during treatment (i.e., 1, 2, 6, and 12 weeks after the quit date) and 1 year after study medication was discontinued. Subjects who received transdermal nicotine were significantly more likely than placebo-treated subjects to remain abstinent from smoking during treatment, but not at the 1-year follow-up. The majority of subjects (> 50%) in both groups accurately identified their treatment assignment. History of depression was associated with a decreased likelihood to abstain from smoking throughout the study. HRT did not moderate smoking outcomes. These data indicate that transdermal nicotine may provide short-term benefits for smoking cessation in postmenopausal women. However, efforts are needed to improve long-term abstinence rates and smoking outcomes among women with a history of depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)296-309
Number of pages14
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported in part by The Patrick and Catherine Weldon Donaghue Foundation, The University of Connecticut Center on Aging, and NIH grants R01 DA13334, and M01 RR06192 (University of Connecticut General Clinical Research Center) and P50AA15632. Glaxo-SmithKline Pharmaceuticals donated nicotine and placebo patches. We would also like to thank Alice Willard, BSN and Martha Hein, BSN for nursing coordination of the study.


  • Depression
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Postmenopausal women
  • Smoking cessation
  • Transdermal nicotine


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