Research has shown that varenicline tartrate - a novel new drug specifically developed for smoking cessation - allows smokers to abstain from cigarettes significantly longer and more effectively than smokers using a placebo.
A paper in Respirology compared the efficacy of a standard 12-week regimen of varenicline for smoking cessation with a placebo on 333 subjects in 15 test sites across China, Singapore and Thailand.
"The smoking cessation rate achieved after the treatment period and the follow-up period was significantly higher with varenicline than with placebo. Likewise, the long-term quit rate for smokers treated with varenicline was also significantly higher", said Dr. Chen Wang from the Beijing Institute of Respiratory Medicine.
More than half of the smokers from the varenicline group abstained from cigarettes within the treatment period while 38% continued to abstain for the next 12 weeks after the treatment. The abstinence rate for the placebo group was significantly lower with only 31% of the participants managing to abstain during the treatment period and 25 % for the non-treatment period.
Varenicline tartrate is a selective nicotinic acetylcholine receptor which is licensed in Europe, the USA and Japan. This study further evaluates and establishes the efficacy, tolerability and safety profiles of varenicline in Asian smokers.
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