RESEARCH PAPER
Varenicline as a smoking cessation aid in a Greek population: a subanalysis of an observational study
 
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1
Evgenidio Hospital, Medical School, University of Athens, Athens, Greece
2
Pulmonary Department, Medical School, University of Thessaly, Thessaly, Greece
3
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
4
Pfizer, Athens, Greece
5
Pfizer Inc, New York, New York, USA
6
Pfizer Ltd, Tadworth, Surrey, UK
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Christina Gratziou   

Evgenidio Hospital, Medical School, University of Athens, Athens, Greece
Publish date: 2012-02-02
 
Tobacco Induced Diseases 2012;10(February):1
KEYWORDS
ABSTRACT
Background:
Greece has the highest proportion of smokers in the European Union with 42% of Greeks admitting that they smoke, based on a 2009 survey. This post-hoc analysis of a prospective, observational study evaluated the effectiveness and safety profile of the smoking cessation aid varenicline, as well as potential predictors of quit success in a Greek population.

Methods:
Participants were prescribed varenicline according to the recommendations of the European Summary of Product Characteristics (1 mg twice daily). The 7-day point prevalence of abstinence at Week 12 was determined based on verbal reporting using a nicotine use inventory. Abstinence was confirmed by carbon monoxide measurements of exhaled air at the last visit of the study. The safety profile of varenicline was also assessed.

Results:
At baseline, the Greek subsample (n = 196) had a mean age of 42.6 years, with 54.6% of them being men. Participants had a smoking history of 23.5 years and a Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence total score of 6.6. After 12 weeks of varenicline therapy, 70.4% (95% CI, 64.0-76.7) of all participants had quit smoking. This increased to 86.2% among participants who had taken the study medication for 80% of the planned number of treatment days. Age was a significant predictor of quit success. The most frequently observed treatment-emergent adverse event was nausea, occurring in 13.3% of participants.

Conclusions:
In this ‘real-world’ observational study, 70.4% of Greek smokers successfully quit smoking after 12 weeks of varenicline therapy, providing support that varenicline is an effective smoking cessation medication. Further studies with longer follow-up are warranted.

 
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