Tobacco use affects more than 50% of adult arrestees, of which 70% are dependent on nicotine.
However, they have no access to tobacco during detention in police cells. Nicotine withdrawal
symptoms, that include irritability, anxiety and lack of concentration, may worsen the
arrestee's health status during detention. Nicotine withdrawal is a treatable condition.
Validated treatments in other situations than police custody include nicotine replacement
This study is based on the following hypotheses: Manifestations related to nicotine
withdrawal could increase the discomfort due to detention in police cells, A nicotine
replacement therapy initiated during detention could improve the course of detention in
police cells and could be useful in a perspective of long-lasting smoking cessation.
The primary objective is to evaluate the efficacy of nicotine replacement therapy among
nicotine-dependent arrestees on the course of detention as perceived by the arrestees. Our
secondary objectives are to evaluate the efficacy of nicotine replacement therapy on desire
to smoke during detention in police cells and to improve long-term smoking cessation among
Interventions consist in the single administration of an active treatment (nicotine patch) or
of a control treatment (placebo patch). Evaluations will include the results of a medical
examination during detention, a self evaluation by the arrestees of their desire to smoke,
and medical consultations and evaluations of tobacco use 7-10 days, one month and six months