Smoking cessation

From Citizendium
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This article is a stub and thus not approved.
Main Article
Related Articles  [?]
Bibliography  [?]
External Links  [?]
Citable Version  [?]
This editable Main Article is under development and subject to a disclaimer.

Etiology of smoking

Tobacco smoking as self-medication



Recording smoking status as a vital sign increases the frequency of brief advice to patients by physicians.[1]

Motivational interviewing may help smoking cessation.[2]

Demonstration of damage to lungs

In general, informing patients of their lung function as measured by spirometry does not increase smoking cession according to a systematic review by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).[3] However, in a more recent randomized controlled trial, patients in the group who were informed of their 'lung age' were more likely to stop smoking.[4] However, in this trial, "People with worse spirometric lung age were no more likely to have quit than those with normal lung age in either group".[4]

Demonstration of damage to blood vessels

"In smokers, carotid plaque screening performed in addition to thorough smoking cessation counseling is not associated with increased rates of smoking cessation or control of cardiovascular risk factors" in a randomized controlled trial that was not large enough to exclude meaningful benefit.[5] In this study, the relative benefit ratio of carotid plaque screening for smoking cessation was 1.1 and, the relative benefit increase was 12.7%. In populations similar to those in this study which had a rate of benefit as measured by the smoking cessation of 22.1% without treatment, the number needed to treat is 36. [5]

One earlier trial reported benefit. "Providing smokers with photographs demonstrating atherosclerosis on their own person was an effective adjunct to physician's advice to quit smoking" according to a randomized controlled trial. [6] In this study, the relative benefit ratio of carotid plaque screening for self-reported smoking cessation was 3.5 and, the relative benefit increase was 252.4%. In populations similar to those in this study which had a rate of benefit as measured by the self-reported smoking cessation of 6.3% without treatment, the number needed to treat is 6. [6]



Bupropion is both an adrenergic uptake inhibitor and a dopamine uptake inhibitor and can help smoking cessation[7], including adding to the effective of nicotine replacement.[8]


Varenicline, a partial agonist at the α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, may be more effective than bupropion[9][10] and placebo[11]; however, bupropion is a generic drug. Varenicline is probably better than the nicotine patch; however, the only study was not blinded and was industry sponsored.[12]

The Food and Drug Administration of the United States of America has issued an advisory for varenicline and psychiatric disease.[13]

Selected medications for abstinence[14][15]
(odds ratio)
(relative risk ratio)
Bupropion 2.07 1.17
Varenicline 2.41 1.18

Nicotine replacement

A systematic reviews of selected medications including nicotine replacement found that the odds ratios for quitting with nicotine are:[14]

  • Spray, 2.37
  • Inhaler, 2.18
  • Patch, 1.88
  • Gum, 1.65


Rimonabant, a selective type 1 cannabinoid (CB1) receptor antagonist, improves smoking cessation and moderate weight gain associated with smoking cessation according to a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials by the Cochrane Collaboration.[16] However, "there is current concern (August 2007) over rates of depression and suicidal thoughts in people taking rimonabant for weight control."[16]


Addiction is reinforced by the fear of experiencing the adverse effects associated with the cessation of the drug. Smoking withdrawal causes cognitive deficits analogous to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, an observation which prompted researchers to test the hypothesis that drugs that ameliorate ADHD facilitate smoking cessation. In confirmation of this hypothesis, it was shown that atomoxetine, a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor that is approved by the FDA to treat the symptoms of ADHD, dose-dependently reversed congnitive deficits in an animal model of nicotine withdrawal.[17] Atomoxetine is not indicated at this time as a medication to treat the ADHD-like symptoms of smoking cessation.

Combinations of medications

Selected trials of combination smoking cessation interventions[18][8]
Study Subjects Intervention Comparison Outcome Results
Intervention group Comparison group
Community volunteers with predefined medical illnesses Triple therapy of nicotine patch, nicotine oral inhaler, and bupropion ad libitum Nicotine patch alone Abstinence at 26 weeks by 7 days exhaled carbon monoxide testing 35% 19%
Community volunteers without medical illness Double therapy with bupropion and nicotine patch Nicotine patch alone Abstinence at 52 weeks by single exhaled carbon monoxide testing Both drugs 36%
Bupropion alone 30%


Financial incentives to either smokers or their health care providers may increase rates of smoking cessation.[19][20][21]

Apart from these trials, the roles of competitions and incentives are not clear.[22]

Adverse effects

Smoking cessation may lead to weight gain, which may lead to diabetes mellitus type 2.[23]


  1. Rothemich SF, Woolf SH, Johnson RE, et al (2008). "Effect on cessation counseling of documenting smoking status as a routine vital sign: an ACORN study". Ann Fam Med 6 (1): 60-8. DOI:10.1370/afm.750. PMID 18195316. Research Blogging.
  2. Lai DT, Cahill K, Qin Y, Tang JL (2010). "Motivational interviewing for smoking cessation.". Cochrane Database Syst Rev (1): CD006936. DOI:10.1002/14651858.CD006936.pub2. PMID 20091612. Research Blogging.
  3. Lin K, Watkins B, Johnson T, Rodriguez JA, Barton MB (2008). "Screening for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Using Spirometry: Summary of the Evidence for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force". Ann. Intern. Med.. PMID 18316746[e]
  4. 4.0 4.1 Parkes G, Greenhalgh T, Griffin M, Dent R (2008). "Effect on smoking quit rate of telling patients their lung age: the Step2quit randomised controlled trial". BMJ. DOI:10.1136/bmj.39503.582396.25. PMID 18326503. Research Blogging.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Rodondi N, Collet TH, Nanchen D, Locatelli I, Depairon M, Aujesky D et al. (2012). "Impact of Carotid Plaque Screening on Smoking Cessation and Other Cardiovascular Risk Factors: A Randomized Controlled Trial.". Arch Intern Med. DOI:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.1326. PMID 22269590. Research Blogging.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Bovet P, Perret F, Cornuz J, Quilindo J, Paccaud F (2002). "Improved smoking cessation in smokers given ultrasound photographs of their own atherosclerotic plaques.". Prev Med 34 (2): 215-20. DOI:10.1006/pmed.2001.0976. PMID 11817917. Research Blogging.
  7. Hurt RD, Sachs DP, Glover ED, Offord KP, Johnston JA, Dale LC et al. (1997). "A comparison of sustained-release bupropion and placebo for smoking cessation.". N Engl J Med 337 (17): 1195-202. PMID 9337378.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Jorenby DE, Leischow SJ, Nides MA, Rennard SI, Johnston JA, Hughes AR et al. (1999). "A controlled trial of sustained-release bupropion, a nicotine patch, or both for smoking cessation.". N Engl J Med 340 (9): 685-91. PMID 10053177. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "pmid10053177" defined multiple times with different content
  9. Jorenby DE, Hays JT, Rigotti NA, Azoulay S, Watsky EJ, Williams KE et al. (2006). "Efficacy of varenicline, an alpha4beta2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor partial agonist, vs placebo or sustained-release bupropion for smoking cessation: a randomized controlled trial.". JAMA 296 (1): 56-63. DOI:10.1001/jama.296.1.56. PMID 16820547. Research Blogging.
  10. Gonzales D, Rennard SI, Nides M, Oncken C, Azoulay S, Billing CB et al. (2006). "Varenicline, an alpha4beta2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor partial agonist, vs sustained-release bupropion and placebo for smoking cessation: a randomized controlled trial.". JAMA 296 (1): 47-55. DOI:10.1001/jama.296.1.47. PMID 16820546. Research Blogging.
  11. Fagerstrom, K.; H. Gilljam, M. Metcalfe, S. Tonstad, M. Messig (2010). "Stopping smokeless tobacco with varenicline: randomised double blind placebo controlled trial". BMJ 341 (dec06 1): c6549-c6549. DOI:10.1136/bmj.c6549. ISSN 0959-8138. Retrieved on 2010-12-08. Research Blogging.
  12. Aubin HJ, Bobak A, Britton JR, Oncken C, Billing CB, Gong J et al. (2008). "Varenicline versus transdermal nicotine patch for smoking cessation: results from a randomised open-label trial.". Thorax 63 (8): 717-24. DOI:10.1136/thx.2007.090647. PMID 18263663. PMC PMC2569194. Research Blogging.
  13. Anonymous (2009). Important Information on Chantix (varenicline) Food and Drug Administration
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Eisenberg MJ, Filion KB, Yavin D, et al. (July 2008). "Pharmacotherapies for smoking cessation: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials". CMAJ 179 (2): 135–44. DOI:10.1503/cmaj.070256. PMID 18625984. PMC 2443223. Research Blogging. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "pmid18625984" defined multiple times with different content
  15. 15.0 15.1 Hajek P, Stead LF, West R, Jarvis M, Lancaster T (2009). "Relapse prevention interventions for smoking cessation". Cochrane Database Syst Rev (1): CD003999. DOI:10.1002/14651858.CD003999.pub3. PMID 19160228. Research Blogging.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Cahill K, Ussher M (2007). "Cannabinoid type 1 receptor antagonists (rimonabant) for smoking cessation". Cochrane Database Syst Rev (4): CD005353. DOI:10.1002/14651858.CD005353.pub3. PMID 17943852. Research Blogging.
  17. Davis JA, Gould TJ (September 2007). "Atomoxetine reverses nicotine withdrawal-associated deficits in contextual fear conditioning". Neuropsychopharmacology 32 (9): 2011–9. DOI:10.1038/sj.npp.1301315. PMID 17228337. Research Blogging.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Steinberg MB, Greenhaus S, Schmelzer AC, et al (April 2009). "Triple-combination pharmacotherapy for medically ill smokers: a randomized trial". Ann. Intern. Med. 150 (7): 447–54. PMID 19349630[e]
  19. Volpp KG, Troxel AB, Pauly MV, et al (February 2009). "A randomized, controlled trial of financial incentives for smoking cessation". N. Engl. J. Med. 360 (7): 699–709. DOI:10.1056/NEJMsa0806819. PMID 19213683. Research Blogging.
  20. Reda AA, Kaper J, Fikrelter H, Severens JL, van Schayck CP (2009). "Healthcare financing systems for increasing the use of tobacco dependence treatment". Cochrane Database Syst Rev (2): CD004305. DOI:10.1002/14651858.CD004305.pub3. PMID 19370599. Research Blogging.
  21. Karlan D; Zinman J. (August 2008) Put your Money where your Butt is: A commitment Savings Account for Smoking Cessation. Workshop on Economics Experiments in Developing Countries at CIRANO
  22. Cahill K, Perera R (2011). "Competitions and incentives for smoking cessation.". Cochrane Database Syst Rev 4: CD004307. DOI:10.1002/14651858.CD004307.pub4. PMID 21491388. Research Blogging.