Tobacco Dependence Research
Unit, Bart's and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Wolfson
Institute of Preventive Medicine, Queen Mary University of London, 55
Philpot Street, London, E1 2JH, UK.
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Current treatments for smoking cessation such as nicotine replacement therapy or varenicline address the
primary reinforcer of smoking (nicotine), but sensorimotor stimuli (e.g. smell/taste of smoke, inhaling/exhaling, airway
sensations, holding the cigarette) may act as secondary reinforcers and also contribute to smoking reward. Addressing
both these aspects of smoking may help to enhance smoking cessation treatment. The aim of this review was to examine
whether sensorimotor replacement can help to alleviate craving and aid smoking cessation. Three sensorimotor
replacement products were examined: non-nicotine inhalators/aerosols, de-nicotinised cigarettes and electronic cigarettes.
The current research suggests that sensorimotor replacement may enhance the efficacy of nicotine replacement therapy,
but is unlikely to be useful if used alone. Electronic cigarettes may be the most promising approach, due to the
combination of nicotine delivery and sensorimotor input.