Nicotine Spray Gets FDA Approval

WASHINGTON--1997 -- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just approved the first prescription nicotine nasal spray as a treatment for adults trying to quit smoking.

Smoking is a known addiction and tobacco smoke contains nicotine, a drug that is addictive and can make quitting difficult for smokers. Smoking accounts for nearly one third of cancer deaths and most lung cancer deaths.

In reviewing trials of the spray, the FDA noted that 25 percent of the patients using the nicotine spray stopped smoking for at least one year. In comparison, only 13 percent of the patients who were given a placebo stopped for this period. This rate of effectiveness was comparable to that of other smoking cessation products, like patches or gum.