Outcomes from an outpatient smoking-cessation clinic.Pharmacotherapy. 2005 Feb; 25(2):279-88.P
To determine the success of an outpatient smoking-cessation clinic by assessing smoking abstinence rates and factors associated with lower abstinence rates. We also sought to determine whether smoking abstinence rates differed among various smoking-cessation products.
Patients were referred by primary care providers to a pharmacist-managed smoking-cessation clinic. Patients received tailored behavioral counseling, educational materials, and drug therapy consisting of sustained-release (SR) bupropion; nicotine patch, inhaler, or nasal spray; or combination therapy. Patients were monitored by phone or clinic visit for 6 months, if possible. Outcomes assessed were abstinence (both point prevalence and continuous abstinence) and adverse effects. Patients lost to follow-up were assumed to be smoking.
Over 2 years, 198 patients were enrolled in the program. At the initial visit, 35.4% received the patch, 32.8% bupropion SR, 18.2% a combination of patch plus inhaler, 9.6% inhaler alone, and fewer than 5% other therapies. At 6 weeks, a statistically significant difference was observed in continuous abstinence rates between the nicotine patch versus bupropion SR groups (22.9% vs 7.7%, p=0.02) and between the combination patch-inhaler versus bupropion SR groups (25% vs 7.7%, p=0.02). However, this difference was not significant beyond the 6-week visit. A trend toward higher abstinence rates was noted at 6 weeks in the nicotine patch-inhaler versus the other treatment groups, possibly suggesting the need for more intense treatment regimens with combination therapy. Point prevalence abstinence rates after 12 weeks were 18.6%, 15.4%, 22.2% and 21.1% respectively, for the patch, bupropion SR, patchinhaler, and inhaler alone treatment groups. The corresponding continuous abstinence rates were 10.0%, 3.1%, 11.1%, and 10.5%.
Although statistically significant differences between products were noted at 6 weeks, no sustained difference in smoking abstinence rates was observed between products. At 6 months, point prevalence and continuous abstinence rates were small, but the decline in success noted over time and the limited overall success rates are consistent with rates for the United States. Our findings suggest that when smokers are assisted in quitting, initial contact as well as follow-up evaluation and monitoring must be intense and sustained to increase the likelihood of successful abstinence. Tobacco dependence is clearly a chronic condition warranting repeated treatment and monitoring until continuous abstinence is achieved.