A study by the University of California San Diego School of Medicine has highlighted that despite promising results shown in clinical trials, medications alone are not enough to help smokers quit.
The study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in December analyzed the impact of three smoking cessation medications that are currently prescribed by health professionals: varenicline, bupropion and nicotine replacement patches. For the study, researchers collected data from the Current Population Survey – Tobacco Use Supplement, a survey of US adults that looks a behaviour related to tobacco use.
“Thirty four percent of people who are trying to quit smoking use pharmaceutical aids and yet most are not successful,” said senior study author John P. Pierce, PhD.
The findings also indicated that medical aids are only effective when used alongside intensive behavioural counselling. First author Eric Leas, PhD said “In these analyses, matching helped reduce bias. Still, we found no evidence that the pharmaceutical cessation aids that we assessed improved the chances of successfully quitting. This was both surprising, given the promise of smoking cessation seen in randomized trials, and disappointing because of the need for interventions to help smokers quit.”
Another recent study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, looked at government data related to smoking cessation between 2013 and 2014. The research here shows that e-cigarettes were one of the most common tools used by Americans to successfully stop smoking.