The combined effect of very low nicotine content cigarettes, used as an adjunct to usual Quitline care (nicotine replacement therapy and behavioural support), on smoking cessation: a randomized controlled trial.
May 17, 2012
Clinical Trials Research Unit, University of Auckland
Walker et al. – October 2012, Addiction. 107:1857–1867
- VLNC cigarettes plus NRT (nicotine patch, gum and/or lozenge) significantly increased quit rates at all measured time points (3 & 6 weeks and 3 & 6 months) over use of NRT only
- Addition of very low nicotine content cigarettes to standard Quitline smoking cessation support may help some smokers to become abstinent
- Funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand
- Aim: To determine the combined effect of very low nicotine content (VLNC) cigarettes and usual Quitline care [nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and behavioural support] on smoking abstinence, in smokers motivated to quit.
- Design: Single-blind, parallel randomized trial.
- Setting: New Zealand. PARTICIPANTS Smokers who called the Quitline for quitting support were randomized to either VLNC cigarettes to use whenever they had an urge to smoke for up to 6 weeks after their quit date, in combination with usual Quitline care (8 weeks of NRT patches and/or gum or lozenges, plus behavioural support) or to usual Quitline care alone.
- Measurements: The primary outcome was 7-day point-prevalence smoking abstinence 6 months after quit day. Secondary outcomes included continuous abstinence, cigarette consumption, withdrawal, self-efficacy, alcohol use, serious adverse events and views on the use of the VLNC cigarettes at 3 and 6 weeks and 3 and 6 months.
- Findings: A total of 1410 participants were randomized (705 in each arm), with a 24% loss to follow-up at 6 months. Participants in the intervention group were more likely to have quit smoking at 6 months compared to the usual care group [7-day point-prevalence abstinence 33 versus 28%, relative risk (RR) = 1.18, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.01, 1.39, P = 0.037; continuous abstinence 23 versus 15%, RR = 1.50, 95% CI: 1.20, 1.87, P = 0.0003]. The median time to relapse in the intervention group was 2 months compared to 2 weeks in the usual care group (P < 0.0001).
- Conclusions: Addition of very low nicotine content cigarettes to standard Quitline smoking cessation support may help some smokers to become abstinent.