Efficacy of interventions to combat tobacco addiction: Cochrane update of 2013 reviews

Addiction. 2014 Sep;109(9):1414-25. doi: 10.1111/add.12633. Epub 2014 Jul 4.


Aims: The Cochrane Collaboration is an international not-for profit organization which produces and disseminates systematic reviews. This paper is the second in a series of annual updates of Cochrane reviews on tobacco addiction interventions, covering new and updated reviews from 2013.

Methods: In 2013, the Group published two new reviews and updated 11 others. This update summarizes and comments on these reviews as well as on a review of psychosocial interventions for smoking cessation in pregnant women, and presents pooled results from reviews of cessation interventions.

Results: New reviews in 2013 found: low-quality evidence that behavioural interventions with mood management components could significantly increase long-term quit rates in people with current [risk ratio (RR) = 1.47, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.13-1.92) and past (RR = 1.41, 95% CI = 1.13-1.77] depression; evidence from network meta-analysis that varenicline and combined forms of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) are associated with higher quit rates than bupropion or single-form NRT (varenicline versus single-form NRT odds ratio (OR) = 1.57, 95% credibility interval (CredI) = 1.29-1.91; versus bupropion OR = 1.59, 95% CredI = 1.29-1.96); and no evidence of a significant increase in serious adverse events in trial participants randomized to varenicline or bupropion when compared to placebo controls. New evidence emerging from updated reviews suggests that counselling interventions can increase quit rates in pregnant women and that school-based smoking programmes with social competence curricula can lead to a significant reduction in uptake of smoking at more than a year. Updated reviews also suggested that naltrexone, selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors and St John's wort do not have a significant effect on long-term smoking cessation.

Conclusions: Cochrane systematic review evidence from 2013 suggests that adding mood management to behavioural support may improve cessation outcomes in smokers with current or past depression and strengthens evidence for previous conclusions, including the safety of varenicline and bupropion and the benefits of behavioural support for smoking cessation in pregnancy.

Keywords: Behavioural therapies; cessation; pharmacotherapies; prevention; systematic review; tobacco.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Antidepressive Agents, Second-Generation / therapeutic use
  • Behavior Therapy / methods*
  • Benzazepines / therapeutic use
  • Bupropion / therapeutic use
  • Counseling / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nicotinic Agonists / therapeutic use
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / therapy
  • Quinoxalines / therapeutic use
  • School Health Services
  • Smoking Cessation / methods*
  • Tobacco Use Cessation Devices*
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Varenicline


  • Antidepressive Agents, Second-Generation
  • Benzazepines
  • Nicotinic Agonists
  • Quinoxalines
  • Bupropion
  • Varenicline