Cigarette Smoking: Health Risks and How to Quit (PDQ®): Prevention - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Summary of Evidence
Drug Treatment and Smoking Cessation
Based on solid evidence, drug treatments, including nicotine replacement therapies (gum, patch, spray, lozenge, and inhaler), selected antidepressant therapies (e.g., bupropion), and nicotinic receptor agonist therapy (varenicline), result in better smoking cessation rates than placebo.
Description of the Evidence
- Study Design: Evidence obtained from randomized controlled trials.
- Internal Validity: Good.
- Consistency: Good.
- Magnitude of Effects on Health Outcomes: Nicotine replacement therapy treatments, alone or in combination, improve cessation rates over placebo after 6 months (RR, 1.58; 95% CI, 1.50–1.66). Treatment with bupropion improves cessation rates over placebo after 6 months (OR, 1.94; 95% CI, 1.72–2.19). Varenicline therapy treatment improves cessation rates over placebo after 6 months (RR, 2.33; 95% CI, 1.95–2.80).
- External Validity: Good.
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