Pharmacological approaches to smoking cessation

S. I. Rennard, D. M. Daughton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Cigarette smoking is a major cause of morbidity and mortality world-wide. Smoking cessation has immediate and long-term benefits and substantially reduces the risk of many smoking-related diseases. An increase in understanding of the addictive properties of nicotine has seen the development of several pharmacological approaches to smoking cessation. Nicotine replacement in the form of chewing gum, transdermal patches, inhalers or sprays approximately double the quit rate afforded by behavioural modification alone. These products are generally well tolerated. Therapy with other psychoactive drug may also aid smoking cessation. Bupropion is an inhibitor of the reuptake of noradrenaline and dopamine, and has been shown to improve smoking cessation rates. In one study, this drug was more effective than a nicotine patch and it has been approved for smoking cessation in the USA and Canada. Mecamylamine is a nicotine antagonist which blocks many of the physiological, behavioural and reinforcing effects of nicotine. In combination with transdermal nicotine, mecamylamine has been reported to significantly enhance quit rates. In summary, currently available pharmacological approaches to smoking cessation can help a number of patients to quit and should be considered as therapeutic options for those individuals who wish to do so.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)334-338
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Respiratory Review
Issue number74
StatePublished - 2000


  • Bupropion
  • Mecamylamine
  • Nicotine
  • Nicotine replacement therapy
  • Smoking cessation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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