(TELEGRAPH) — Nicotine patches may not help smokers to stub out the habit, according to a new study.

Researchers found nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) designed to help people stop smoking – specifically patches and gum – do not appear to be effective in helping smokers quit long-term, even when combined with counselling sessions.

The study was conducted by researchers at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and the University of Massachusetts in the United States who are now calling for greater regulation of which nicotine products can be sold over the counter.

Lead author Hillel Alpert, a research scientist at HSPH, said: “This study shows that using NRT is no more effective in helping people stop smoking cigarettes in the long-term than trying to quit on one’s own.”

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