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Review
, 22 (127), 37-43

Smoking Cessation and COPD

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Review

Smoking Cessation and COPD

Philip Tønnesen. Eur Respir Rev.

Abstract

The mainstay in smoking cessation is counselling in combination with varenicline, nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) or bupropion SR. Varenicline and combination of two NRTs is equally effective, while varenicline alone is more effective than either NRT or bupropion SR. NRT is extremely safe but cardiovascular and psychiatric adverse events with varenicline have been reported. These treatments have also been shown to be effective in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). A model study is the Lung Health Study from the USA. Findings from this study of 5,587 patients with mild COPD showed that repeated smoking cessation for a period of 5 yrs resulted in a quit rate of 37%. After 14.5 yrs the quitters had a higher lung function and a higher survival rate. A study with a new nicotine formulation, a mouth spray, showed high relative efficacy. As 5-10% of quitters use long-term NRT, we report the results of a study where varenicline compared with placebo increased the quit rate in long-term users of NRT. Smoking cessation is the most effective intervention in stopping the progression of COPD, as well as increasing survival and reducing morbidity. This is why smoking cessation should be the top priority in the treatment of COPD.

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