AimsTo assess (1) how far the efficacies of front-line smoking cessation pharmacotherapies vary as a function of smoker characteristics and (2) associations between these characteristics and success of smoking cessation attempts.
DesignProspective correlational study in the context of a double-blind randomized trial. The outcome was regressed individually onto each covariate after adjusting for treatment, and then a forward stepwise model constructed. Treatment moderator effects of covariates were tested by treatment × covariate interactions.
SettingHealth service facilities in multiple countries.
ParticipantsData came from 8120 smokers willing to make a quit attempt, randomized to varenicline, bupropion, nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) or placebo in Evaluating Adverse Events in a Global Smoking Cessation Study (EAGLES) between 30 November 2011 and 13 January 2015.
MeasurementsSmoker characteristics measured at baseline were country, psychiatric history, sex, age, body mass index (BMI), ethnic group, life-time suicidal ideation/behaviour, anxiety, depression, aggression, psychotropic medication, history of alcohol/substance use disorder, age of starting smoking, cigarette dependence [Fagerström Test for Cigarette Dependence (FTCD)] and prior use of study medicines. Outcome was biochemically confirmed continuous abstinence at weeks 9-24 from start of treatment.
FindingsNo statistically significant treatment × covariate interactions were found. Odds of success were associated independently positively with age [odds ratio (OR) = 1.01; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.00, 1.01], BMI (1.01; 95% CI = 1.00, 1.02) and age of starting smoking (1.03; 95% CI = 1.02, 1.04). Odds were associated independently negatively with US (versus non-US) study site (0.53; 95% CI = 0.46, 0.61), black (versus white) ethnic group (0.57; 95% CI = 0.45, 0.72), mood disorder (0.85; 95% CI = 0.73, 0.99), anxiety disorder (0.71; 95% CI = 0.55, 0.90) and psychotic disorder (0.73; 95% CI = 0.50, 1.07), taking psychotropic medication (0.81; 95% CI = 0.68, 0.95), FTCD (0.89; 95% CI = 0.87, 0.92) and previous use of NRT (0.78; 95% CI = 0.67, 0.91).
ConclusionsWhile a range of smoker characteristics-including psychiatric history, cigarette dependence and prior use of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)-are associated with lower cessation rates, they do not substantially influence the efficacy of varenicline, bupropion or NRT.