Meds & Counseling Combo Work Best

Quitting smoking is best supported with a combination of medication and counseling

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Robert Carlson, M.D

(RxWiki News) Quitting smoking is a life saving action. Don’t get down about it. Get help instead. Use support and medications together until the job is done.

A recent study evaluated 40 tobacco cessation studies that included 15,021 smokers.

This study's results found that a combination of medication therapy and behavioral support, when compared to behavioral support alone, increased successful quit attempts up to 100 percent.

"Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW."

Lindsay Stead, MA, MSc, from Department of Primary Health Care Sciences at the University of Oxford, led the investigation.

For this review, researchers looked at 40 studies, which include 15,021 people, using behavioral support, medication replacement therapy or various combinations to help people quit smoking.

Medication replacement therapy included nicotine patches and gum, varenicline, brand name, Chantix, and bupropion, brand name, Wellbutrin.

Behavioral support included counseling and advice sessions with tobacco cessation specialists.

Ms. Stead said, "Since we know that both types of treatment are effective, the assumption has certainly been that offering both will be better than offering either alone.”

“Healthcare providers have an important role in convincing smokers of the importance of attempting to quit and making pharmacotherapy (medications, patches and nicotine gum) and behavioral support available.”

Stevens S. Smith, PhD, associate professor at the Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention at the University of Wisconsin, said, “For patients motivated to make a quit attempt, counseling and assistance with medications—if medically appropriate—should be provided.”

“For patients not motivated to quit, the doctor should use motivational interventions.”

“Another option is referral to tobacco quit lines, such as 1-800-Quit-Now, where smokers can receive free medication, counseling, and other support to quit smoking.”

This study was published in October in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.

This study was supported by the Health Behavior News Service at the Center for Advancing Health.

No conflicts of interest were found.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
October 26, 2012
Last Updated:
November 5, 2012