The effectiveness of smoking cessation treatments used in the “real world”

Daniel Kotz PhD, Jamie Brown PhD, Robert West PhD

Published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Volume 89(10), Pages 1360–1367, October 2014

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Objective

To estimate the “real-world” effectiveness of commonly used aids to smoking cessation in England by using longitudinal data.

Patients and Methods

We conducted a prospective cohort study in 1560 adult smokers who participated in an English national household survey in the period from November 2006 to March 2012, responded to a 6-month follow-up survey, and made at least 1 quit attempt between the 2 measurements. The quitting method was classified as follows: (1) prescription medication (nicotine replacement therapy [NRT], bupropion, or varenicline) in combination with specialist behavioral support delivered by a National Health Service Stop Smoking Service; (2) prescription medication with brief advice; (3) NRT bought over the counter; (4) none of these. The primary outcome measure was self-reported abstinence up to the time of the 6-month follow-up survey, adjusted for key potential confounders including cigarette dependence.

Results

Compared with smokers using none of the cessation aids, the adjusted odds of remaining abstinent up to the time of the 6-month follow-up survey were 2.58 (95% CI, 1.48-4.52) times higher in users of prescription medication in combination with specialist behavioral support and 1.55 (95% CI, 1.11-2.16) times higher in users of prescription medication with brief advice. The use of NRT bought over the counter was associated with a lower odds of abstinence (odds ratio, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.49-0.94).

Conclusion

Prescription medication offered with specialist behavioral support and that offered with minimal behavioral support are successful methods of stopping cigarette smoking in England.

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