While most smokers are well aware that quitting can be an intense battle, many underestimate the severity of cravings and the role cravings play in putting them at risk for relapse. A recent survey found that almost nine out of ten smokers (87 percent) who quit smoking started again because of everyday "situational cravings" and more than three- quarters of smokers (80 percent) believe they could quit if they were able to get through their cravings. Situational cravings are caused by frequent smoking in everyday circumstances the brain has come to associate with nicotine, such as driving in the car, talking on the phone, or drinking coffee. This may help explain why smokers will quit on average up to nine times before they successfully do so for good.

"These survey findings are an important reminder that situational cravings can occur anytime and in any place a smoker associates with smoking," Dr. Raymond Niaura, professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown Medical School said. "Situational cravings are triggered by events that the brain has associated with smoking and if left untreated, can cause a lapse to smoking in as quickly as 10-15 minutes."

According to Dr. Niaura, years of smoking cause an increase in the number of receptors in the brain which thrive on nicotine, essentially "re-wiring" a smoker's brain to crave nicotine. When the brain receptors stop getting nicotine they "call out" for it, something smokers then feel as a craving. Many smokers may not fully understand their addiction and the effects of tobacco-delivered nicotine on the brain. The recent survey findings indicate that most smokers (67 percent) believe that sheer willpower is the way out of their smoking addiction with fewer than half aware of the brain chemistry behind it. Fifty-one percent admitted they were not sure or disagreed that smoking causes these changes in the brain that make it difficult to quit.

These attitudes may help to explain why among the smokers surveyed who have tried to quit smoking:

-- More than three-quarters (83 percent) have tried to quit by going "cold turkey," the least effective smoking cessation method

-- Less than half of smokers (47 percent) have tried therapeutic nicotine (gum, patch or lozenge), which has been shown to double chances of success versus cold turkey.

"When an intense craving hits, someone who quits will want to satisfy their urge immediately and taking fast action can mean the difference between success and failure," Dr. Niaura said. "Therapeutic nicotine in the form of Nicorette(R) gum and Commit(R) lozenges can provide rapid relief to help calm situational cravings within several minutes, giving a smoker's willpower a fighting chance to break the habit."

Studies have demonstrated that the administration of oral forms of therapeutic nicotine including Nicorette(R) gum or Commit(R) lozenge, can significantly reduce cravings within minutes and in those situations that remind someone of smoking. Therapeutic nicotine in the form of gum or lozenge target nicotine receptors to provide rapid relief of cravings. The treatment regimen allows the smokers to wean off nicotine gradually, which can double a smoker's chances of quitting successfully over cold turkey.

Therapeutic nicotine is available over-the-counter at 35,000 retail stores across the U.S., making access convenient and readily available to a smoker who is dealing with a craving. A smoker can access therapeutic nicotine on his own and does not have to wait for a for a doctor's prescription. No two smokers' habits or cravings are exactly alike, and quitting smoking is different for everyone. Therefore, therapeutic nicotine products are available in different strengths, forms and flavors to help a wide range of smokers ease their withdrawal from cigarettes.

Additional Smoking Cessation Resources

Giving up smoking is not easy. Smokers benefit from a combination of behavioral support and effective treatments. GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Consumer Healthcare offers smokers a variety of customized quit-smoking resources, which deal with the cravings from nicotine addiction and the everyday habits the brain associates with smoking. GSK offers the widest range of proven therapeutic nicotine products available, products which can significantly improve a smoker's chance of quitting successfully and have helped millions of people quit smoking. In addition, GSK offers several resources and support services designed specifically to help smokers and non-smokers understand and address the two components to smoking cessation: nicotine addiction and habit change.

Way2Quit is a new educational website that enables smokers to develop an initial quit-smoking plan by completing various assessment tools online. The assessment includes health risks, cravings, smoking triggers, readiness, dependency and more. The site also includes helpful tips, quitting resources and virtual coaches. Way2Quit recently introduced entertaining mini-films that illustrate the overpowering agitation a smoker may experience from the cravings. Smokers and their loved ones can share their own experiences by submitting short videos which demonstrate the intensity of nicotine addiction and illustrate how difficult situational cravings can be. For more information, visit Way2Quit.

About GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare

GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare is one of the world's largest over- the-counter consumer healthcare products companies. Its more than 30 well- known brands include the leading smoking cessation products, Nicorette(R), NicoDerm(R) and Commit(R), NiQuitin and Nicabate, as well as many medicine cabinet staples such as Abreva(R), Aquafresh(R), Sensodyne(R) and Tums(R). GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare continues to develop innovative products to help all smokers find their best support system and achieve their goal of being cigarette free.

About GlaxoSmithKline

GlaxoSmithKline is one of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical and consumer healthcare companies. GlaxoSmithKline is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer.

The online survey of 808 adult smokers in the U.S. was conducted in October by Richard Day Research on behalf of GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare. The data was weighted to adjust for the age and gender distribution of U.S. adult daily smokers, using estimates from the 2005 National Health Interview Survey. The average respondent was 41 years old and had been smoking for 20 years.

GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare
Way2Quit

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