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"Combo drug therapies best for helping smokers quit"

Calgary Herald

Source: Calgary Herald

Published: 16 Dec 2021

Category: Pharmaceutical

Rating: (3 stars)

Keywords: bupropion zyban nicotine lozenges smoking smoking cessation

what they said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

NEW YORK - Nearly one in five smokers offered help in kicking the habit while visiting their doctor's office for a check-up will make a serious attempt to quit, a new study shows.

And in this "real world" setting, the most effective smoking cessation drug therapy was a combination of bupropion SR (a sustained-release form of Zyban) and nicotine lozenges, Dr. Stevens S. Smith of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison and colleagues found...

The original article can be found at:

how did it rate? (more information)

Criteria Rating
Total Score 5 of 9
Availability of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Novelty of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Disease Mongering Satisfactory (?)
Treatment Options Satisfactory (?)
Costs of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Evidence Satisfactory (?)
Quantification of Benefits of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Harms of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Sources of Information Not Satisfactory (?)
Relies on Press Release Not Applicable
Quantification of Harms of Treatment Not Applicable

what we said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

This is a fair story that described the differences between a variety of treatments to help people quit smoking. The discussion of the evidence would have benefited form describing the absolute benefits in terms of the numbers of people who might have been helped. For example, It would have been nice to know how many people were in each arm. If 30% quit using therapy A, how many people was that? three out of ten? thirty out of three hundred? three hundred out of three thousand?

What stands out in this story is the effectiveness of the non-drug treatment where "36 percent of the people who'd used more than 90 minutes of counseling were abstinent at six months, while those who used less or didn't get counseling at all had the same abstinence rate -- around 20 percent."This sixteen point difference was better than any of the drug/ patch/ losenge treatments against another.

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