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Pharmacotherapy for smoking cessation in adults

Nancy A Rigotti, MD
Section Editors
James K Stoller, MD, MS
Mark D Aronson, MD
Deputy Editor
Judith A Melin, MA, MD, FACP


Smoking cessation is associated with clear health benefits. Cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States and worldwide. Tobacco use increases the risk of many acute and chronic diseases, including cancers at many sites.

The main medications that have demonstrated efficacy as smoking cessation aids include nicotine replacement, varenicline, and bupropion [1]. These and other pharmacologic options to help patients stop smoking are discussed here.

The likelihood of a successful quit attempt is increased if counseling is provided along with the medications. An overview of smoking cessation management and the value of also using behavioral therapies for smoking cessation are discussed separately. (See "Overview of smoking cessation management in adults" and "Behavioral approaches to smoking cessation".)

The treatment of smoking cessation in adolescents is discussed separately. (See "Management of smoking cessation in adolescents".)


All smokers should be advised to quit smoking.

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Oct 26, 2017.
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