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Comparative assessment of outcomes of smoking cessation therapies and role of free medications in successful long-term abstinence

, Seyma Baslilar,
Published: 16 June 2021

Abstract: Long-term outcomes of smoking cessation treatments are crucial to optimize standards of cessation services, which are known to prevent excess morbidity and mortality. This study aimed to evaluate long-term outcomes of a smoking cessation program, to compare the success rates of interventions, to assess relapse rates after quitting, and to determine the duration until relapse. Patients admitted for smoking cessation between 2010–2018 were contacted to evaluate short- and long-term treatment outcomes. The patients were asked whether they were currently smoking, and whether they quit after smoking cessation treatment and the duration of abstinence. The study included 579 patients (341 males) with a mean age of 50±12 years. The median time from the date of visit to the smoking cessation clinic to analysis was 5 years (range: 2–10). Of the patient, 436 used medications, including varenicline, bupropion, and nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). The overall quit rate was 31.8% by the primary intervention (varenicline: 45.5%, bupropion: 38.2%, NRT: 33%, psychosocial support: 4.2%), and quit rate was similar in the intervention groups (p=0.073). In the long-term, the quit rates were 19.6, 22.5, 25.9, and 21.7%, respectively (p=0.405). About 9% of the patients failed to quit smoking initially but succeeded for a while after the first intervention at the cessation clinic. The relapse rate after initial cessation was 19%. The longest period of abstinence was in patients using NRT (14±17 months), followed by the patients using varenicline (9.5±12.7 months) and bupropion (8.2±14.8 months). Both short- and long-term quit rates with varenicline, bupropion, and NRT, were similar. The long-term quit rates among patients who did not use medication and received psychosocial support initially were comparable to those who used a smoking cessation drug.
Keywords: smoking cessation / varenicline / bupropion / nicotine replacement therapy / psychosocial support

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