Smoking cessation effectiveness in smokers with COPD and asthma under real life conditions

Respir Med. 2014 Apr;108(4):577-83. doi: 10.1016/j.rmed.2014.01.007. Epub 2014 Feb 2.


Introduction: Although smoking cessation is strongly indicated by international guidelines as an effective therapeutic tool for patients with COPD and Asthma, a large proportion of them do not quit smoking and they are regarded as a "difficult" target group.

Aim: To study the effectiveness of an intensive smoking cessation program in smokers with COPD and asthma under real-life conditions.

Methods: 166 smokers with COPD, 120 smokers with asthma and 1854 control smokers attended the smoking cessation program in the out-patient patient Smoking Cessation Clinic of the Pulmonary Department in Athens University. Continuous Abstinence Rate (CAR) was evaluated in 3, 6, 9 and 12 months after the target quit date.

Results: Short-term CAR (in 3 months) was 49.4% for COPD smokers, 51.7% for asthmatic smokers and 48.0% for the control group of smokers. 12 months after the initial visit the CAR was 13.9%, 18.3% and 15.9%, respectively. No statistically significant differences between groups at any study period were found. Smokers with good compliance with the program had higher long-term CAR after 12 months: 37.7% in COPD smokers, 40.0% in asthmatic smokers and 39.3% in control smokers. High CAR was observed at all stages of COPD severity.

Conclusion: The results support the view that smokers with respiratory obstructive airway diseases of any severity should be offered an intensive smoking cessation program with regular and long-term follow-up. This will help them to achieve high abstinence rates and prevent relapses.

Keywords: Asthma; COPD; Real life studies; Respiratory diseases; Smoking cessation.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asthma / etiology*
  • Asthma / physiopathology
  • Asthma / therapy
  • Attitude to Health
  • Female
  • Forced Expiratory Volume / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Patient Compliance
  • Program Evaluation
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / etiology*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / physiopathology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / therapy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Smoking Cessation / methods*
  • Smoking Prevention
  • Vital Capacity / physiology