Nicotine patches recommended to treat children

GPs in Scotland received NHS guidance urging them to prescribe nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) to smokers under 12.

NHS Health Scotland is sending GPs and pharmacists updated guidance that says good practice to help young people quit should include nicotine replacement patches or gum.

The guidance states: ‘Studies indicate that nicotine replacement therapy was as well tolerated by teenagers as it is in adults and would be safer than smoking.

‘There was no evidence that indicated that adolescents would abuse or misuse NRT.’

The Committee on the Safety of Medicines approved NRT for children aged 12 to 18 in 2005. But GPs in Scotland are reluctant to prescribe the treatment to teenagers.

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