What’s the best way to quit smoking?

What’s the best way to quit smoking?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 70 percent of smokers want to quit. We know that’s easier said than done. However, a new study may help point smokers in the right direction when it comes to choosing a quitting method.

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto conducted a clinical trial supporting a personalized approach to smoking cessation treatment, based on how quickly a smoker’s body breaks down nicotine.

According to the study, those who metabolize or break down nicotine at a “normal” rate were more successful in their attempt to quit smoking after treatment with the drug varenicline (Chantix®, manufactured by Pfizer) compared to the nicotine patch. For participants who metabolize nicotine more slowly, varenicline was just as effective as the patch but led to more side effects than the patch.

The trial included 1,246 smokers (53 percent were slow metabolizers) who, over the course of 11 weeks, received either the patch and a placebo pill, the patch and varenicline or a placebo patch and placebo pill. All received behavioral counseling. Participants were categorized as “slow” or “normal” metabolizers based on a measure called the nicotine metabolite ratio (MBR).

“Our data suggest that treating normal metabolizers with varenicline, and slow metabolizers with the nicotine patch could provide a practical clinical approach. What’s more, extending the duration of these treatments beyond 11 weeks could potentially sustain the benefit of tailored treatment,” said the study’s authors in a release.

“This study is encouraging but there are many factors that go into determining the right quit method for a patient,” says Dr. Sumit Ranjan, family practitioner with Advocate Medical Group in Normal, Illinois. These include:

  • How long and how much a patient has been smoking
  • Any previous history of drug interactions and
  • Current mental health status

“It is important to discuss these things with your physician in order to find the method that is right for you.”


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One Comment

  1. kept busy not at home watching tv and on fb from 8am to 8 pm

About the Author

Lynn Hutley
Lynn Hutley

Lynn Hutley, health enews contributor, is coordinator of public affairs and marketing at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center and Advocate Eureka Hospital in central Illinois. Having grown up in a family-owned drug store, it is no surprise that Lynn has spent almost 18 years working in the health care industry. She has a degree in human resources management from Illinois State University and is always ready to tackle Trivia Night.