Volunteers needed for smoking cessation study

Volunteers needed for smoking-cessation study

The University of Chicago Medical Center is looking for people who smoke at least 12 cigarettes a day, want to quit, and who will commit to trying several techniques simultaneously that might help.

This is part of a research project involving the drug naltrexone, which for many years has been helpful for those dealing with alcohol and opiate addictions. Researchers believe the drug may be beneficial to those trying to kick the tobacco habit, too. Early small-scale studies have been promising.

"This study combines several treatments that have previously been shown to help people quit," said Andrea King, PhD, director of the study and an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Chicago Medical Center.

People who enroll in this study will be given nicotine patches for a month, six individual stop-smoking counseling sessions, and either a three-month supply of naltrexone or a placebo pill. Fifty percent of the enrollees will be taking the drug. Fifty percent will not. After the three months of active treatment, participants will be interviewed at 6 and 12 months after their quit date for follow-up.

To make it more convenient, the study coordinators have centers available in Chicago's Hyde Park, West Loop, and Lakeview neighborhoods with appointments available Mondays through Fridays, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. In addition, participants are eligible for up to $230 in compensation and reimbursement for parking or CTA expenses.

Interested persons should call 1-877-CSTOP-911 or check out the program's Web site at http://stopsmoking.uchicago.edu. The Web site has an initial screening tool to help participants know if they qualify for the study. The researchers are looking for regular cigarette smokers between the ages of 18 and 65 who are in good general health.