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VA research in action

Development of the nicotine patch for smoking cessation

August 1, 2018

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Photo ©iStock/AndreyPopov

VA researchers developed the nicotine patch in 1984. Researchers tested the patch on themselves, with grants from UCLA and VA, and used their own physiological responses to demonstrate that the patch was safe for human subject testing with smoking volunteers.

The nicotine patch releases small, but continuous medicinal nicotine through the skin. This helps reduce withdrawal symptoms while quitting smoking. Unlike tobacco products, nicotine replacement therapy does not contain the other harmful ingredients found in tobacco. Nicotine patches are available with a prescription through VA or over the counter.

More recently, nicotine patches are also under study to help relieve the symptoms of post-surgical pain, to treat early dementia, and to treat symptoms of ADHD.

Principal investigators: Jed E. Rose, Ph.D., Murray E. Jarvik, M.D., Ph.D., K. Daniel Rose, M.D.; VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System

Selected publications:

Rose JE, Jarvik ME, Rose KD. Transdermal administration of nicotine. Drug Alcohol Depend. 1984 May;13(3):209-13.

Outside partnerships: UCLA


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Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.