Behavioral counseling and varenicline treatment for smoking cessation.

Research paper by Gary E GE Swan, Jennifer B JB McClure, Lisa M LM Jack, Susan M SM Zbikowski, Harold S HS Javitz, Sheryl L SL Catz, Mona M Deprey, Julie J Richards, Timothy A TA McAfee

Indexed on: 23 Apr '10Published on: 23 Apr '10Published in: American Journal of Preventive Medicine


Smoking remains the primary preventable cause of death and illness in the U.S. Effective, convenient treatment programs are needed to reduce smoking prevalence.This study compared the effectiveness of three modalities of a behavioral smoking-cessation program in smokers using varenicline.Current treatment-seeking smokers (n=1202) were recruited from a large healthcare organization between October 2006 and October 2007. Eligible participants were randomized to one of three smoking-cessation interventions: web-based counseling (n=401); proactive telephone-based counseling (PTC; n=402); or combined PTC and web counseling (n=399). All participants received a standard 12-week FDA-approved course of varenicline. Self-report determined the primary outcomes (7-day point prevalent abstinence at 3- and 6-month follow-ups); the number of days varenicline was taken; and treatment-related symptoms. Behavioral measures determined utilization of both the web- and Phone-based counseling.Intent-to-treat analyses revealed relatively high percentages of abstinence at 3 months (38.9%, 48.5%, 43.4%) and at 6 months (30.7%, 34.3%, 33.8%) for the web, PTC, and PTC-web groups, respectively. The PTC group had a significantly higher percentage of abstinence than the web group at 3 months (OR=1.48, 95% CI=1.12, 1.96), but no between-group differences in abstinence outcomes were seen at 6 months.Phone counseling had greater treatment advantage for early cessation and appeared to increase medication adherence, but the absence of differences at 6 months suggests that any of the interventions hold promise when used in conjunction with varenicline.