Clinical reviews: Smoking cessation

E-cigarettes fail to help smokers quit

24 Feb 2022Registered users

Using e-cigarettes for smoking cessation neither improved the chance of quitting successfully nor helped to improve relapse rates, in a large nationally representative cohort study from the USA.

Evaluating interventions to help smokers quit

09 Aug 2021Registered users

Varenicline and a combination of pharmacological and behavioural interventions were the two most effective methods for smoking cessation, a systematic review by the US Preventive Services Task Force has found. Data on the effectiveness and safety of e-cigarettes for smoking cessation in adults were limited and study results inconsistent.

Even smoking some days increases risk of premature death

25 Jun 2021Registered users

Individuals who do not smoke every day have a significantly higher risk of all-cause mortality compared with those who have never smoked. For those who smoke daily, the mortality risk increases as the number of cigarettes smoked increases, a large study from the USA has found.

Smokers’ dependence on cigarettes has decreased over the past decade

24 Nov 2020Registered users

Between 2008 and 2017 smokers appear to have become less dependent on cigarettes but also less likely to try to quit or cut down. For those who tried to quit, fewer used behavioural support and more used pharmacological support, a study has found.

Nausea may affect adherence to varenicline

24 Sep 2020Registered users

Nausea during the first few weeks of varenicline therapy may reduce adherence, a study from North America has found. The authors analysed data on 870 adults receiving varenicline in two smoking cessation trials conducted at multiple sites in Canada and the USA.



Smoking still the leading cause of preventable illness and early death

20 Dec 2018Registered users

A steady decline in cigarette smoking in adults between 1993 and 2017 and a decrease in the number of both men and women drinking at harmful levels between 2011 and 2017 are key findings from the Health Survey for England (HSE) 2017. Nevertheless, smoking remains the leading cause of preventable illness and premature death and alcohol remains a causal factor in numerous medical and mental health conditions, including cancer, cirrhosis, hypertension, depression, and accidents and injuries.

Risk of acute STEMI significantly increased in younger smokers

23 Jan 2017Registered users

Smoking is associated with an eight-fold increased risk of acute ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) in those under 50 compared with former and never smokers, a UK study has found.


Special reports

GPs have key role in helping patients to stop smoking

23 May 2012Paid-up subscribers

18% of all deaths in adults aged 35 or over in England are still attributable to smoking. Almost all these premature deaths could be avoided if smokers stopped before their mid-thirties but only a quarter of people who have ever smoked regularly manage to quit by this age. GP advice is one of the most important triggers to a smoker making an attempt to quit. Evidence shows that offering help to all smokers is easier, quicker and likely to be more effective than just advising smokers to stop or asking whether they are interested in quitting.