Do Nicotine Patches and Gum Work?

Dr. Richard Besser examines the effectiveness of methods for quitting smoking.
2:04 | 01/10/12

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Transcript for Do Nicotine Patches and Gum Work?
And today a front page headline in the New York Times caught our eye raising new doubt about whether nicotine gum and patches are really effective for people want to quit smoking. We have seen smoking rates decline over the years in 1954. Nearly half of Americans smoke today just over 20%. So did the patches work and if not what does we SK BC's chief medical editor doctor Richard -- to look into it. It's over. Section the city's Carrie Bradshaw and use the nicotine patch to quit and 132 separate medical studies back up its effectiveness. But a new survey says she might just -- welcome to on the -- to whet the new -- looking at smokers in the real World Cup people who try to using nicotine replacement. Had no more success that people who just try cold Turkey when -- take a drug and -- -- have -- to -- -- world we have a lot of people just -- -- to instructions. -- the equator in the real world -- use the patch or gum for the recommended eight weeks are almost experimental quivers what you get is failure so what does work. Human nature by offering help to quit and by making smoking difficult and expensive New York City has cut the number of smokers by 35%. Taxes -- make -- -- costs more than fourteen dollars and working he's smoking. I could smoke here in the restaurant or even here at the bar at the office. Or here in a public park or even here in Times Square. 25 states now ban smoking businesses and restaurants in -- they were better than patches -- guns in turning it into a nonsmoking nation. They'll also key telling your friends and family that you're quitting and get their support because it turns out they quitting takes a lot more than -- institutional. Why does the patchwork it really does if you use it as directed your one and A half times more likely to be successful. Most people it takes more than one try it this is a tough addiction but as we saw in New York City. -- really making progress and you seem to be saying the most effective thing is making it difficult. That's right if you make it hard for people to do and then give them an easier way to quit those things together seem to be effective.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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