Medication-assisted quit rates in participants with smoking-related diseases in EAGLES: Post hoc analyses of a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial

Tob Induc Dis. 2022 May 10;20:46. doi: 10.18332/tid/146567. eCollection 2022.


Introduction: Greater understanding is required of how smokers with smoking-related diseases respond to smoking cessation medications. This post hoc analysis of EAGLES data compared continuous abstinence rates (CARs) in smokers with/without smoking-related diseases and assessed participant demographic and baseline characteristics that may serve as predictors of continuous abstinence (CA).

Methods: EAGLES was a 24-week (12-week treatment, 12-week follow-up), double-blind, active- (nicotine replacement therapy; patch) and placebo-controlled study in motivated-to-quit smokers with/without psychiatric disorders. This analysis assessed CARs at weeks 9-12 (CAR9-12) and 9-24 (CAR9-24) in participants with smoking-related diseases [asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes, and/or cardiovascular disease (n=1372)] versus controls without these comorbidities (n=6039). Participants received varenicline 1 mg twice daily, bupropion 150 mg twice daily, nicotine patches 21 mg/day with taper, or placebo for 12 weeks. Stepwise logistic modeling was also performed to analyze odds ratio (OR) for predictors of CA at weeks 9-12 (CA9-12) and 9-24 (CA9-24).

Results: Smokers with smoking-related diseases were older, had a longer smoking history, more quit attempts, and were more likely to have a psychiatric disorder and reside in the US versus smokers without comorbidities. Fagerström Test for Cigarette Dependence scores and treatment adherence were comparable between cohorts. Smokers with smoking-related diseases had lower CARs versus controls (CAR9-12: 20.8% vs 24.0%; CAR9-24: 13.0% vs 16.9%). Use of smoking cessation medication was the strongest predictor of CA after control for demographics, smoking characteristics, and psychiatric disorder. By treatment, OR and CI were: varenicline CA9-12 (OR=3.82; 95% CI: 3.21-4.54) and CA9-24 (OR=2.92; 95% CI: 2.40-3.54); bupropion CA9-12 (OR=2.17; 95% CI: 1.81-2.60) and CA9-24 (OR=1.99; 95% CI: 1.63-2.44); nicotine patches CA9-12 (OR=2.23; 95% CI: 1.87-2.67) and CA9-24 (OR=1.86; 95% CI: 1.52-2.28).

Conclusions: Smokers with smoking-related diseases had lower quit rates than controls. Of the active treatments compared, varenicline was most effective in smokers with asthma, COPD, diabetes, or cardiovascular disease.

Trial registration: NCT01456936 (

Associated data