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Bloodtests could help people to quit smoking

Blood tests could be used to help people stop smoking research in the Lancet suggests.

Published today, the research suggests that being able to measure how quickly a person breaks down nicotine could impact upon their success. Those who break the substance down quickly, tend to have stronger cravings.

In this study, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania in the US enlisted 1,240 people

They checked each volunteer's blood to see if nicotine was broken down at a normal or slow rate, then gave the volunteers either a nicotine patch, a drug called varenicline or treatment with a dummy pill.

Prof Caryn Lerman, one of the lead researchers, said: "If these tests are used, people could have a sizeable chance of success.

"For some people, with normal metabolism of nicotine, the chance of success might be low on the patches but could double if they take the pill while for a third of the population with slower breakdown, cheaper patches might be best."