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The effect of varenicline and nicotine patch on smoking rate and satisfaction with smoking: an examination of the mechanism of action of two pre-quit pharmacotherapies

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-19, 03:22 authored by Wenying LuWenying Lu, Katherine ChappellKatherine Chappell, Walters, JAE, Glenn JacobsonGlenn Jacobson, Rahul PatelRahul Patel, Schuz, N, Stuart FergusonStuart Ferguson

Objectives: In recent years, there has been growing research interest in using nicotine replacement medications to aid smoking reduction prior to a quit attempt. Gaining a better understanding of how treatments influence smoking reduction may allow for better tailoring of treatments and, ultimately, better cessation outcomes. The objective of the current study was to test the effects of the pre-quit use of varenicline and nicotine patch on smoking rate and satisfaction with smoking.

Methods: All participants were required to attend up to five study visit sections. Participants (n = 213) who were interested in quitting were randomised (open-label) to receive either prequit patch or varenicline (both treatments started 2 weeks prior to an assigned quit day, followed by 10 weeks post-quit) or standard patch (10 weeks starting from an assigned quit day). Participants used modified smartphones to monitor their smoking in real time for 4 weeks.

Results: Participants in the two pre-quit treatment groups reported significant reductions in both their satisfaction with smoking (p < 0.001) and smoking rate (p < 0.001) from baseline to the end of pre-quit period; participants in the standard patch group did not. The observed reduction of smoking rate was associated with the satisfaction with smoking (p < 0.01), although the mediation effect of satisfaction was small.

Conclusions: Pre-quit treatment caused reductions in satisfaction with smoking and smoking rate. Satisfaction was associated with changes in smoking rate, but the relationship was weak. As such, monitoring reductions in satisfaction do not appear to be a viable method of evaluating responsiveness to treatment.


Pfizer Inc


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School of Pharmacy and Pharmacology



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Copyright 2017 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

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Public health (excl. specific population health) not elsewhere classified

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