Salud Pública de México
Print version ISSN 0036-3634
REGALADO-PINEDA, Justino; LARA-RIVAS, Gabriela; OSIO-ECHANOVE, Jennifer and RAMIREZ-VENEGAS, Alejandra. Current treatment for smoking. Salud pública Méx [online]. 2007, vol.49, suppl.2, pp.s270-s279. ISSN 0036-3634. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0036-36342007000800018.
Smoking is a chronic medical condition characterized by the addiction to nicotine. Seventy percent of smokers want to quit smoking, although only 30% per year make the attempt. Some of the available treatments should be offered to smokers who are motivated to quit. Among the pharmaceutical treatments, nicotine-free tobacco and nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) stand out. In the first group, varenicline tartrate and anti-depression medications such as bupropion and nortriptyline are notable. NRTs include patches, chewing gum, sublingual and oral tablets, oral inhalation and nasal aerosol devices. Varenicline tartrate is an a4b2 nicotinic receptor partial agonist that reduces withdrawal symptoms as well as the desire and urge to smoke. Studies show that varenicline is better than a placebo (RM 3.22, IC95% 2.43-4.27) and better than bupropion (RM 1.66, IC95% 1.28-2.16). All NRT modalities are effective (RM 1.78, IC95% 1.60-1.99), although in particular cases one may be more appropriate than another. The addictive potential of nicotine substitutes is less than that of cigarettes and, in addition, they lack the toxic effects of smoke. Bupropion stimulates noradrenergic and dopadrenergic functions and doubles the abstinence rate as compared with the nicotine patch (RM 1.94, IC95% 1.72-2.19). Nortriptyline is also associated with an increase in abstinence rates (RM 2.34, IC95% 1.6-3.41). Other treatments have shown a certain degree of efficacy, such as the endocannabinoids receptors blocker, rimonabant. As for non-pharmaceutical treatments, medical advice is a useful tool whose success can range from 2 to 4%, but only 35% of medical professionals provide it (RM 1.74, IC95% 1.48-2.05). Group psychological therapy helps to modify the perception of cigarettes and its noxious effects. The success of this modality is between 20% and 35% per year (RM 2.17, IC95% 1.42-3.45). Some of the disadvantages are the time invested and the cost of the treatment, which can be considerable. Finally, self-help materials can increase success (RM 1.24, IC95% 1.07-1.45). In summary, multiple modalities currently exist that have been proven effective in the treatment for quitting smoking; however, the treatment should be individualized according to each particular case.
Keywords : smoking; smoking cessation.