Varenicline as a smoking cessation aid in a Greek population: a subanalysis of an observational study
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Evgenidio Hospital, Medical School, University of Athens, Athens, Greece
Pulmonary Department, Medical School, University of Thessaly, Thessaly, Greece
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
Pfizer, Athens, Greece
Pfizer Inc, New York, New York, USA
Pfizer Ltd, Tadworth, Surrey, UK
Submission date: 2011-09-01
Acceptance date: 2012-02-02
Publication date: 2012-02-02
Corresponding author
Christina Gratziou   

Evgenidio Hospital, Medical School, University of Athens, Athens, Greece
Tobacco Induced Diseases 2012;10(February):1
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.

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.

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.

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.

Trial Registration: NCT00669240

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