About the Blog Author-John R. Hughes, MD

John R. Hughes, MD is Professor of Psychiatry, Psychology and Family Practice at the University of Vermont. Dr. Hughes is board certified in Psychiatry and Addiction Psychiatry. His major focus has been clinical research on tobacco use. Dr. Hughes received the Ove Ferno Award for research in nicotine dependence and the Alton Ochsner Award Relating Smoking and Health. He is a co-founder and past president of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco, and the Association for the Treatment of Tobacco Use and Dependence. Dr. Hughes has been Chair of the Vermont Tobacco Evaluation and Review Board which oversees VT’s multi-million dollar tobacco control programs. He has over 400 publications on nicotine and other drug dependencies and is one of the world’s most cited tobacco scientist. Dr. Hughes has been a consultant on tobacco policy to the World Health Organization, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the White House. His current research is on how tobacco users and marijuana users stop or reduce use on their own, novel methods to prompt quit attempts by such users, whether smoking cessation reduces reward sensitivity and whether stopping e-cigarettes causes withdrawal. Dr Hughes has received fees from companies who develop smoking cessation devices, medications and services, from governmental and academic institutions, and from public and private organizations that promote tobacco control.


  • How Clinical Trial Statistics Can be Misleading

    A recent review paper (Rosen et al, Addiction, in press) quantified how some cessation statistics can be misleading. Let’s see if I can summarize that without too much jargon.
    The most commonly reported effectiveness statistics are the Odds Ratio (OR) and Relative Risk (RR). They are usually very similar and...
  • Pre-dosing medications to increase efficacy

    Recent studies on pre-dosing suggest it does, in fact, increase quit rates. Most studies of pre-dosing had participants use nicotine gum for about 4 weeks prior to the quit date and most did not ask smokers to try to reduce, but just smoke as usual. The idea is that with extra nicotine in the system, they would be tolerant and find nicotine via cigarettes less rewarding. Sort of like giving someone an IV drip of sugar will decrease food intake. The most recent Cochrane review on nicotine replacement therapy concluded that predosing increases quit rates by about 30%, including a very recent real-world trial ...