Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 2 dosages of sustained-release bupropion for adolescent smoking cessation

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2007 Nov;161(11):1068-74. doi: 10.1001/archpedi.161.11.1068.


Objective: To assess the safety and efficacy of sustained-release bupropion hydrochloride for adolescent smoking cessation.

Design: Prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, dose-ranging trial.

Setting: Metropolitan areas of Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona.

Participants: Adolescents (N = 312) recruited through media and various community venues from March 1, 1999, through December 31, 2002, who were aged 14 to 17 years, smoked 6 or more cigarettes per day, had an exhaled carbon monoxide level of 10 ppm or greater, had at least 2 previous quit attempts, and had no other current major psychiatric diagnosis.

Intervention: Sustained-release bupropion hydrochloride, 150 mg/d (n = 105) or 300 mg/d (n = 104), or placebo (n = 103) for 6 weeks, plus weekly brief individual counseling. Subjects were followed up at 12 weeks (by telephone call) and 26 weeks.

Main outcome measure: Confirmed 7-day point prevalence abstinence at 6 weeks and 30-day prolonged abstinence (carbon monoxide level < 10 ppm at each visit; urinary cotinine level < or = 50 microg/L at weeks 2 and 6).

Results: Cotinine-confirmed 7-day point prevalence abstinence rates at 6 weeks were as follows: placebo, 5.6%; 150 mg, 10.7%; and 300 mg, 14.5% (P = .03, 300 mg vs placebo). At 26 weeks, confirmed point prevalence abstinence rates were as follows: placebo, 10.3%; 150 mg, 3.1%; and 300 mg, 13.9% (P = .049). During treatment, confirmed point prevalence rates were significantly higher for 300 mg than placebo at every week except week 4.

Conclusions: Sustained-release bupropion hydrochloride, 300 mg/d, plus brief counseling demonstrated short-term efficacy for adolescent smoking cessation. Abstinence rates were lower than those reported for adults, with rapid relapse after medication discontinuation.

Trial registration: clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00344695.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Bupropion / administration & dosage*
  • Counseling
  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Smoking Cessation*


  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • Bupropion

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00344695