"Had treatment been interrupted or discontinued for these 'delayed quitters,' opportunities for achieving continuous abstinence could have been lost for up to 45 percent of quitters who were ultimately successful," Gonzales said.
Gonzales and colleagues analyzed data from two identically designed, published studies (Gonzales et al. JAMA 2006 and Jorenby et al. JAMA 2006) conducted between June 2003 and April 2005. Participants included 2,052 generally healthy adult smokers who randomly received either a smoking cessation drug varenicline or bupropion or a placebo for 12 weeks of treatment plus 40 weeks of follow-up. All participants received brief smoking cessation counseling at clinic visits and investigators were blinded to the treatment assignments.
Successful quitters were defined as smokers who achieved continuous abstinence, not even one puff, for the last four weeks of treatment (weeks nine through 12). Among successful quitters, two groups were identified: "immediate quitters," smokers who quit and remained abstinent from their target quit date through the end of week 12; and "delayed quitters," smokers who had periods of smoking prior to attaining continuous abstinence for at least the last four weeks of treatment.
The overall end-of-treatment quit rates for the two studies were previously shown to be higher for varenicline, but in this analysis, the researchers found cumulative continuous abstinence increased similarly for all treatments during weeks three through eight. They also found quitting patterns among delayed quitters were similar regardless of whether they took varenicline, bupropion or received counseling only (placebo).
While delayed quitters did not fare quite as well as immed
|Contact: Tamara Hargens-Bradley|
Oregon Health & Science University