An Internet Survey of Use, Opinions and Preferences for Smoking Cessation Medications: Nicotine, Varenicline, and Bupropion

Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 04/27/2012

An Internet survey showed smoking cessation medications differed significantly in perceived effectiveness, satisfaction, and smoking status. Except for lozenge/tablet, insufficient daily use remained a problem with acute nicotine replacement therapies. For all medications, improving outcome may require better instruction for proper use, approval of new indications or development of new medications that bypass compliance issues that undermine success.

Methods

  • Internet survey on a smoking cessation website (French/English, 2008–2010) to assess use of nicotine replacement therapies (NRT), varenicline, and bupropion.

Results

  • There were 885 participants (39% current smokers, 61% former smokers), the majority of the sample (70%) was female.
  • The most frequently used medications were, in order: patches (40%), varenicline (23%), nicotine gum (16%), nicotine lozenge/tablet (10%), bupropion (8%), and inhaler (3%).
  • Satisfaction, perceived relief of craving/withdrawal and effectiveness were best for varenicline and lowest for gum.
  • In current users, duration of use was longest for gum (121 days), lozenge/tablet (152 days) and shortest for patch (25 days).
  • Daily use was good for lozenge (9 pieces/day) but less than recommended for gum (6 pieces/day) and inhaler (2 plugs/day).
  • People who tried more than 1 medication found varenicline more effective and satisfactory than NRT or bupropion; and users preferred patch to gum.
  • By smoking status, former smokers had more education, reported greater use of medications (daily, over time) and reported more satisfaction with medications than current smokers.

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