Reduction Versus Abrupt Cessation in Smokers Who Want to Quit.

Reduction versus abrupt cessation in smokers who want to quit.

Filed under: Addiction Rehab

Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012; 11: CD008033
Lindson-Hawley N, Aveyard P, Hughes JR

BACKGROUND: The standard way to stop smoking is to quit abruptly on a designated quit day. A number of smokers have tried unsuccessfully to quit this way. Reducing smoking before quitting could be an alternative approach to cessation. Before this method is adopted it is important to determine whether it is at least as successful as abrupt quitting. OBJECTIVES: 1. To compare the success of reducing smoking to quit and abrupt quitting interventions. 2. To compare adverse events between arms in studies that used pharmacotherapy to aid reduction. SEARCH METHODS: We searched the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Review Group specialised register using topic specific terms. The register contains reports of trials of tobacco addiction interventions identified from searches of MEDLINE, EMBASE and PsycInfo. We also searched reference lists of relevant papers and contacted authors of ongoing trials. Date of most recent search: July 2012. SELECTION CRITERIA: We included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that recruited adults who wanted to quit smoking. Studies included at least one condition which instructed participants to reduce their smoking and then quit and one condition which instructed participants to quit abruptly. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: The outcome measure was abstinence from smoking after at least six months follow-up. We pooled the included trials using a Mantel-Haenszel fixed-effect model. Trials were split for two sub-group analyses: pharmacotherapy vs no pharmacotherapy, self help therapy vs behavioural support. Adverse events were summarised as a narrative. It was not possible to compare them quantitatively as there was variation in the nature and depth of reporting across studies. MAIN RESULTS: Ten studies were relevant for inclusion, with a total of 3760 participants included in the meta-analysis. Three of these studies used pharmacotherapy as part of the interventions. Five studies included behavioural support in the intervention, four included self-help therapy, and the remaining study had arms which included behavioural support and arms which included self-help therapy. Neither reduction or abrupt quitting had superior abstinence rates when all the studies were combined in the main analysis (RR= 0.94, 95% CI= 0.79 to 1.13), whether pharmacotherapy was used (RR= 0.87, 95% CI= 0.65 to 1.22), or not (RR= 0.97, 95% CI= 0.78 to 1.21), whether studies included behavioural support (RR= 0.87, 95% CI= 0.64 to 1.17) or self-help therapy (RR= 0.98, 95% CI= 0.78 to1.23). We were unable to draw conclusions about the difference in adverse events between interventions, however recent studies suggest that pre-quit NRT does not increase adverse events. AUTHORS’ CONCLUSIONS: Reducing cigarettes smoked before quit day and quitting abruptly, with no prior reduction, produced comparable quit rates, therefore patients can be given the choice to quit in either of these ways. Reduction interventions can be carried out using self-help materials or aided by behavioural support, and can be carried out with the aid of pre-quit NRT. Further research needs to investigate which method of reduction before quitting is the most effective, and which categories of smokers benefit the most from each method, to inform future policy and intervention development.
HubMed – addiction


Mobile phone-based interventions for smoking cessation.

Filed under: Addiction Rehab

Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012; 11: CD006611
Whittaker R, McRobbie H, Bullen C, Borland R, Rodgers A, Gu Y

BACKGROUND: Innovative and effective smoking cessation interventions are required to appeal to those who are not accessing traditional cessation services. Mobile phones are widely used and are now well-integrated into the daily lives of many, particularly young adults. Mobile phones are a potential medium for the delivery of health programmes such as smoking cessation. OBJECTIVES: To determine whether mobile phone-based interventions are effective at helping people who smoke, to quit. SEARCH METHODS: For the most recent update, we searched the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group Specialised Register in May 2012. We also searched UK Clinical Research Network Portfolio for current projects in the UK and the ClinicalTrials register for on-going or recently completed studies. We searched through the reference lists of identified studies and attempted to contact the authors of ongoing studies, with no restrictions placed on language or publication date. SELECTION CRITERIA: We included randomized or quasi-randomized trials. Participants were smokers of any age who wanted to quit. Studies were those examining any type of mobile phone-based intervention. This included any intervention aimed at mobile phone users, based around delivery via mobile phone, and using any functions or applications that can be used or sent via a mobile phone. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Information on risk of bias and methodological details was extracted using a standardised form. Participants who dropped out of the trials or were lost to follow-up were considered to be smoking. We calculated risk ratios (RR) for each included study. Meta-analysis of the included studies was undertaken using the Mantel-Haenszel fixed-effect method. Where meta-analysis was not possible, summary and descriptive statistics are presented. MAIN RESULTS: Five studies with at least six month cessation outcomes were included in this review. Three studies involve a purely text messaging intervention that has been adapted over the course of these three studies for different populations and contexts. One study is a multi-arm study of a text messaging intervention and an internet QuitCoach separately and in combination. The final study involves a video messaging intervention delivered via the mobile phone. When all five studies were pooled, mobile phone interventions were shown to increase the long term quit rates compared with control programmes (RR 1.71, 95% CI 1.47 to 1.99, over 9000 participants), using a definition of abstinence of no smoking at six months since quit day but allowing up to three lapses or up to five cigarettes. Statistical heterogeneity was substantial as indicated by the I² statistic (I² = 79%), but as all included studies were similar in design, intervention and primary outcome measure, we have presented the meta-analysis in this review. AUTHORS’ CONCLUSIONS: The current evidence shows a benefit of mobile phone-based smoking cessation interventions on long-term outcomes, though results were heterogenous with findings from three of five included studies crossing the line of no effect. The studies included were predominantly of text messaging interventions. More research is required into other forms of mobile phone-based interventions for smoking cessation, other contexts such as low income countries, and cost-effectiveness.
HubMed – addiction


Nicotine replacement therapy for smoking cessation.

Filed under: Addiction Rehab

Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012; 11: CD000146
Stead LF, Perera R, Bullen C, Mant D, Hartmann-Boyce J, Cahill K, Lancaster T

BACKGROUND: The aim of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is to temporarily replace much of the nicotine from cigarettes to reduce motivation to smoke and nicotine withdrawal symptoms, thus easing the transition from cigarette smoking to complete abstinence. OBJECTIVES: The aims of this review were: To determine the effect of NRT compared to placebo in aiding smoking cessation, and to consider whether there is a difference in effect for the different forms of NRT (chewing gum, transdermal patches, oral and nasal sprays, inhalers and tablets/lozenges) in achieving abstinence from cigarettes. To determine whether the effect is influenced by the dosage, form and timing of use of NRT; the intensity of additional advice and support offered to the smoker; or the clinical setting in which the smoker is recruited and treated. To determine whether combinations of NRT are more likely to lead to successful quitting than one type alone. To determine whether NRT is more or less likely to lead to successful quitting compared to other pharmacotherapies. SEARCH METHODS: We searched the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group trials register for papers mentioning ‘NRT’ or any type of nicotine replacement therapy in the title, abstract or keywords. Date of most recent search July 2012. SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomized trials in which NRT was compared to placebo or to no treatment, or where different doses of NRT were compared. We excluded trials which did not report cessation rates, and those with follow-up of less than six months. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: We extracted data in duplicate on the type of participants, the dose, duration and form of nicotine therapy, the outcome measures, method of randomization, and completeness of follow-up. The main outcome measure was abstinence from smoking after at least six months of follow-up. We used the most rigorous definition of abstinence for each trial, and biochemically validated rates if available. We calculated the risk ratio (RR) for each study. Where appropriate, we performed meta-analysis using a Mantel-Haenszel fixed-effect model. MAIN RESULTS: We identified 150 trials; 117 with over 50,000 participants contributed to the primary comparison between any type of NRT and a placebo or non-NRT control group. The risk ratio (RR) of abstinence for any form of NRT relative to control was 1.60 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.53 to 1.68). The pooled RRs for each type were 1.49 (95% CI 1.40 to 1.60, 55 trials) for nicotine gum; 1.64 (95% CI 1.52 to 1.78, 43 trials) for nicotine patch; 1.95 (95% CI 1.61 to 2.36, 6 trials) for oral tablets/lozenges; 1.90 (95% CI 1.36 to 2.67, 4 trials) for nicotine inhaler; and 2.02 (95% CI 1.49 to 2.73, 4 trials) for nicotine nasal spray. One trial of oral spray had an RR of 2.48 (95% CI 1.24 to 4.94). The effects were largely independent of the duration of therapy, the intensity of additional support provided or the setting in which the NRT was offered. The effect was similar in a small group of studies that aimed to assess use of NRT obtained without a prescription. In highly dependent smokers there was a significant benefit of 4 mg gum compared with 2 mg gum, but weaker evidence of a benefit from higher doses of patch. There was evidence that combining a nicotine patch with a rapid delivery form of NRT was more effective than a single type of NRT (RR 1.34, 95% CI 1.18 to 1.51, 9 trials). The RR for NRT used for a short period prior to the quit date was 1.18 (95% CI 0.98 to 1.40, 8 trials), just missing statistical significance, though the efficacy increased when we pooled only patch trials and when we removed one trial in which confounding was likely. Five studies directly compared NRT to a non-nicotine pharmacotherapy, bupropion; there was no evidence of a difference in efficacy (RR 1.01; 95% CI 0.87 to 1.18). A combination of NRT and bupropion was more effective than bupropion alone (RR 1.24; 95% CI 1.06 to 1.45, 4 trials). Adverse effects from using NRT are related to the type of product, and include skin irritation from patches and irritation to the inside of the mouth from gum and tablets. There is no evidence that NRT increases the risk of heart attacks. AUTHORS’ CONCLUSIONS: All of the commercially available forms of NRT (gum, transdermal patch, nasal spray, inhaler and sublingual tablets/lozenges) can help people who make a quit attempt to increase their chances of successfully stopping smoking. NRTs increase the rate of quitting by 50 to 70%, regardless of setting. The effectiveness of NRT appears to be largely independent of the intensity of additional support provided to the individual. Provision of more intense levels of support, although beneficial in facilitating the likelihood of quitting, is not essential to the success of NRT.
HubMed – addiction


Cocaine-Related Health Emergencies in Europe: A Review of Sources of Information, Trends and Implications for Service Development.

Filed under: Addiction Rehab

Eur Addict Res. 2012 Oct 5; 19(2): 74-81
Mena G, Giraudon I, Alvarez E, Corkery JM, Matias J, Grasaasen K, Llorens N, Griffiths P, Vicente J

Background: Cocaine-related health consequences are difficult to observe. Data on drug users in health-emergency settings may be a useful source of information on consequences that are not visible via other information sources. Methods: Thirty European countries submit an annual national report on the drug situation to the EMCDDA. All reports for the period 2007-2010 were analyzed, with particular attention given to auditing cocaine-related mentions. Analysis was also performed in order to identify sources and case definitions, assess coverage, audit cases and, where possible, to identify long-term trends. Results: Considerable heterogeneity existed between countries in their approach to recording drug-related emergencies, with only Spain and the Netherlands having established formal indicators. The highest annual numbers of cocaine-related episodes were reported by the UK (3,502), Spain (2,845) and the Netherlands (1,211). A considerable (2- to 3-fold) increase in the numbers of cocaine-related episodes has been reported since the end of the 1990s in these countries; these increases peaked in Spain and England around 2007/08. Conclusions: The analysis reported here suggests the need to develop more standardized approaches to monitoring drug-related emergencies. It points to the potential value of developing effective referral links between the emergency and specialized drug services working with cocaine users.
HubMed – addiction



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