Results of a new study suggest that achieving greater success in smoking cessation could lie in better use of existing treatments, rather than pinning hopes on finding a new therapy.
Conducted by researchers at the University at Buffalo and the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, the study found that by giving smokers the medication bupropion for a longer period before their quit date, a higher percentage of smokers remained smoke-free 30 days after quitting.
The theory underlying this latest study was based on anecdotal evidence that some smokers who have taken bupropion for other indications reported that they were stopping smoking without even trying to quit. The study of 95 patients extended the typical one-week period of medication use prior to quitting smoking to four weeks, comparing results for those individuals to those who received the standard course.
A total of 53% of individuals receiving the extended bupropion treatment remained smoke-free 30 days after their quit date, compared with 31% who were under the typical medication schedule. The study is scheduled to be published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research.
“Without any new smoking cessation drugs close to approval, this appears to be a promising strategy to enhance the effectiveness of existing medications, such as bupropion, which are proven to aid in quitting smoking,” Martin Mahoney, MD, PhD, professor of oncology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, said in a Feb. 26 news release from the University at Buffalo.