Nicotine studies offer differing results

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PHOENIX (CBS5/CBS) -

A new study is throwing doubt on nicotine replacement therapy as a tool to help people stop smoking.

Researchers at Harvard found that nicotine patches and nicotine gum are not effective, even when combined with counseling.

Their findings indicate that smokers have the same rate of success when they quit on their own.

But it turns out the nicotine patch could be useful in other ways.

A neurology study finds that nicotine may improve memory loss.

Researchers looked at a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment.

After six months of treatment, the group using a nicotine patch showed improvement in long-term memory.

The group receiving a placebo got worse.

Copyright 2012 KPHO. All rights reserved. CBS News contributed to this report.