Combining weight-focused counseling, medication helps women quit smoking

Mar 22, 2010

For women smokers worried about their weight, combining cognitive behavioral therapy addressing weight concerns with the medication bupropion appears more effective than counseling alone to help them quit smoking, according to a report in the March 22 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.

"Many women smokers are concerned about the that commonly accompanies an attempt to ," the authors write as background information in the article. These women are less likely to attempt quitting, are more likely to drop out of treatment and gain more weight after quitting than those who don't report weight-related concerns. Previous efforts to add weight control interventions to smoking cessation interventions have proved ineffective, the authors note.

Michele D. Levine, Ph.D., of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and colleagues conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with 349 women smokers who were concerned about their weight. Of these, 106 were assigned to take the medication bupropion and also participate in CONCERNS, a program focusing on weight gain issues. An additional 87 participated in CONCERNS while taking placebo, 89 received counseling without a weight gain focus while taking bupropion and 67 underwent standard counseling while taking placebo. Participants took medications for six months and participated in counseling for three months.

Overall, 31.8 percent of women abstained from smoking for three months, 21.8 percent after six months and 16.3 percent after 12 months. Bupropion improved abstinence rates among women receiving the CONCERNS intervention; those taking active medication were more likely than those taking placebo to have quit at three months (40.6 percent vs. 18.4 percent), six months (34 percent vs. 11.5 percent) and 12 months (23.6 percent vs. 8.1 percent). They were also slower to relapse, with a median or midpoint of 266 days vs. 46 days to relapse.

However, bupropion did not appear to improve quit rates or time to relapse among those receiving standard counseling, the authors note. In addition, there were no differences among women who quit in either average weight gain or their level of concern about weight gain.

"Future research should focus on possible mechanisms to explain the efficacy of this specialized counseling plus bupropion therapy and address issues related to the practicality of wider dissemination of the specialized counseling intervention for weight-concerned women smokers," the authors conclude. "These results may also serve to guide further development of pharmacologic and behavioral approaches for smokers with other comorbid concerns."

Explore further: Tax forms could pose challenge for HealthCare.gov

More information: Arch Intern Med. 2010;170[6]:543-550.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Drug may help women stop smoking

Oct 09, 2006

Adding the opiate blocker naltrexone to the combination of behavioral therapy and nicotine patches boosted smoking cessation rates for women by almost 50 percent when assessed after eight weeks of treatment, but made no difference ...

Recommended for you

Can YouTube save your life?

Aug 29, 2014

Only a handful of CPR and basic life support (BLS) videos available on YouTube provide instructions which are consistent with recent health guidelines, according to a new study published in Emergency Medicine Australasia, the jo ...

Doctors frequently experience ethical dilemmas

Aug 29, 2014

(HealthDay)—For physicians trying to balance various financial and time pressures, ethical dilemmas are common, according to an article published Aug. 7 in Medical Economics.

AMGA: Physician turnover still high in 2013

Aug 29, 2014

(HealthDay)—For the second year running, physician turnover remains at the highest rate since 2005, according to a report published by the American Medical Group Association (AMGA).

Obese or overweight teens more likely to become smokers

Aug 29, 2014

A study examining whether overweight or obese teens are at higher risk for substance abuse finds both good and bad news: weight status has no correlation with alcohol or marijuana use but is linked to regular ...

User comments : 0