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Int J Methods Psychiatr Res. 2011 Mar;20(1):28-39. doi: 10.1002/mpr.328.

Smoking cessation in primary care - a randomized controlled trial of bupropione, nicotine replacements, CBT and a minimal intervention.

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Institute of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany.



Smoking cessation has been shown to be effective in randomized controlled trials. It is unclear though, whether interventions also work in routine primary care.


In 167 primary care settings we conducted a randomized four-armed smoking cessation trial to examine the efficacy of a minimal intervention (MI; n = 81), cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT; n = 175), bupropion (BUP; n = 108) and nicotine replacements (NRT; n = 103). Overall, 467 current smokers were enrolled. Abstinence rates at the end of treatment (12 weeks) were 32.8% for MI patients, 34.8% for CBT, 35.3% for NRT, and 46.5% for BUP patients (ITT, intention to treat) (no differential effects). Retention rates were highest in the BUP group (59.3%) and lowest in the NRT group (50.5%). Completer findings were: MI, 56.4%; CBT, 64%; BUP, 79.3%; NRT, 69.2% (LOCF, lost to follow-up). No serious adverse events occurred during or after the medication phase. At 12-month follow-up continuous abstinence rates were: BUP, 29.0%; CBT, 20.9%; NRT, 29.6%; MI, 29.6%.


Our findings suggest that established smoking cessation treatments are effective when applied by non-specialist primary care physicians. Our data supports a structured, multimodal treatment structure as core ingredient of successful smoking cessation in primary care.

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