The medication bupropion plus counseling appears to help adolescents quit cigarette smoking in the short term, according to a report in the November issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.
Almost one-fourth of
Myra L. Muramoto, M.D., M.P.H., Scott J. Leischow, Ph.D., and colleagues at the
During treatment, quit rates were higher for the 300-milligram group than for placebo every week except the fourth week. After six weeks, 5.6 percent of those in the placebo group, 10.7 percent of those in the 150-milligram bupropion group and 14.5 percent of those in the 300-milligram group had quit smoking. At the 26-week follow-up, 10.3 percent of those who took placebo, 3.1 percent of those who took 150 milligrams of bupropion and 13.9 percent of those who took 300 milligrams were still abstaining from cigarettes. The teens’ reported quit rates were verified by checking the level of cotinine, a byproduct of nicotine processing, in the urine.
Though the results suggest that 300 milligrams of bupropion plus brief counseling sessions may help teens quit smoking over the short term, abstinence rates at the end of the treatment period were lower than those seen in adults taking the same medication, the authors note. In addition, the high rate of relapse after stopping medication suggests that a longer treatment period—such as the 12 weeks recommended for adult smokers—may be needed.
“Nonetheless, this study provides hope for helping a generation of smokers quit before they become adults,” the authors conclude. “These results are critically important because few effective treatment options are available for adolescent smokers who want to quit.”
Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2007; 161(11):1068-1074.