Reasons young smokers do not use NRT even when it is available free-of-charge: An exploratory study

Erika N. Dugas, R. J. Wellman, A. Kermack, M. Tremblay, J. O'Loughlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objectives: Despite cost coverage since 2000, few young adult smokers in Quebec use nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) to help them quit. The objective of this exploratory study was to describe reasons for not using NRT. Methods: Current smokers age 22-25 years participating in the ongoing longitudinal cohort Nicotine Dependence in Teens (NDIT) study who had tried to quit in the past year (n=152), provided data in 2011-12 on cessation methods used, in self-report questionnaires. 74 (49%) completed a subsequent telephoneadministered interview that collected data on reasons for not using NRT. Results: Only 15% of smokers had used NRT during their last quit attempt. Among participants who completed the ancillary interview, reasons for not using the patch or gum were don't need/want it, lack of effectiveness, and side effects. Reasons for not using the inhaler were don't need/want it and lack of awareness of its existence, while lack of awareness of its existence was the main reason cited for not using the lozenge. 73% of participants were unaware of the effectiveness of NRT and 66% were unaware of cost coverage. However 70% and 57%, agreed that knowing more about its effectiveness and cost coverage respectively, would encourage their use of NRT. Conclusion: If these findings are replicated in larger, representative samples of young smokers who have tried to quit, information campaigns on the effectiveness and cost coverage of NRT may be needed to encourage more widespread use of NRT in young smokers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14-21
Number of pages8
JournalCanadian Journal of Addiction
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • NRT
  • Nicotine replacement therapy
  • Smoking cessation
  • Young adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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