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J Subst Abuse Treat. 2011 Jul;41(1):64-70. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2011.01.014. Epub 2011 Feb 23.

Effectiveness of varenicline for smoking cessation: a 1-year follow-up study.

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Centro Antidroga and Farmacologia Clinica, Policlinico Umberto I-Department of Physiology and Pharmacology V. Erspamer-Sapienza University of Rome, Italy.


We examined the rate of smoking cessation associated with 6 weeks of group counseling therapy (GCT) given alone or in combination with 12 weeks of varenicline (VAR) in 112 smokers. Follow-ups were conducted at 12, 26, and 52 weeks post enrollment. Since participants chose the treatment, differences between the two groups were adjusted using propensity matching. Only 33.3% completed VAR treatment, yet at 1 year, the abstinence rate among participants who were not compliant was not different from subjects who were compliant. VAR resulted in a 23% improvement in the abstinence rates at 26 and 52 weeks (GCT + VAR rates were 62.5% and 56.3%, respectively; GCT-only rates were 39.6% and 33.3%, respectively). Increased carbon monoxide concentration, cigarette consumption, and Beck Depression Inventory score were associated with continued smoking. In conclusion, we found that the combination of counseling and VAR is effective at promoting abstinence at 1 year even when compliance with the medication is not 100%.

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