Researchers from the UW say Wisconsin has about one million smokers. Half of them try to quit but fewer than five percent succeed.
A new study by the UW Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention will look at which smokers benefit from which treatments. Researchers consider it the largest study of its kind ever in the state.
Former smoker Pat Ruble says, "if you didn't smoke, you were really a zero, so you smoked."
Pat Ruble smoked for 50 years. She stopped a few years ago ... thanks, in part to "ED."
The electronic device tracked her symptoms of nicotine withdrawal.
Ruble says, "he'd prompt me in the morning ... I'd have to tell him how I was feeling if I'd been smoking."
Other smokers will use techniques like ED as part of another smoking study.
This one involving up to 3, 000 smokers for three years.
Dr. Michael Fiore says, "if we can get a better sense of what people actually go through as they're trying to quit and see moment by moment experiences they're having, then we can devise treatments that will help them to quit more successfully. New research will help us to do that."
The research will compare five different treatments including nicotine patches and lozenges, a nicotine-free pill, or a combination of two treatments. 200 people will get a placebo. The study will examine a smoker's physical health as well as mental and social changes.
Pat Ruble says she not only stopped spending time on smoking, but she saved money too.
"I'm not really good at math, but it's thousands of dollars. My husband and I take a trip every year now," Ruble says.
Anyone interested in volunteering for the Wisconsin Smokers' Health study is encouraged to call 1-877-END CIGS, or log onto the website www.endcigs.com. Researchers will conduct the study in the Madison and Milwaukee areas. It is funded by an $8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.