Smoking is very prevalent in the Philippines with 45% among Filipinos being ever-smokers and the number of current smokers increased from 32.7% in 1999 to 34.8% in 2003. This study aims to assess the rate of successful smoking cessation among Filipino smokers with the use sustained-release bupropion hydrochloride as the pharmacologic aid in achieving abstinence. Safety in the use of bupropion hydrochloride and factors that may promote smoking abstinence among Filipinos were also determined.
This was a non-randomized, non-comparative and prospective study where willing smokers underwent individualized smoking cessation sessions at the Philippine General Hospital and took Sustained-Release Buproprion hydrochloride at 300 mg/day for 8 weeks . They returned weekly during the first four weeks and then at 6 and 8 weeks for follow-up. Self-report of smoking abstinence at the end of 8 weeks was confirmed by urine cotininine determination. Psychological well-being and adverse effects were also monitored during the study.
A total of 84 Filipino smokers were included and all of the subjects completed 8 weeks of sustained release bupropion hydrochloride treatment at 150 to 300 mg/day. Urine cotinine-confirmed abstinence rate was 57% after 8 weeks in the study. Predictors of smoking abstinence were higher educational attainment (odds ratio 3.17, 95% confidence interval 1.1-9.2), older age when the subject started smoking (p value <0.05), absence of another smoker at home (p<0.05), and lower baseline carbon monoxide level (p<0.05). There was no difference between abstainers and non-abstainers regarding safety and psychological well-being. There were no serious adverse events in the study.
Urine cotinine-confirmed smoking abstinence was 57% after 8 weeks of individualized smoking cessation intervention and sustained-release bupropion hydrochloride administration among Filipinos. Minimal adverse effects were encountered with the use of bupropion hydrochloride.
Smoking cessation intervention with the concomitant use of sustained-release bupropion hydrochloride was quite effective among Filipinos and was at par in effectivity with other Asian and developed countries. Side effects to pharmacologic treatment for smoking cessation were minimal.
Lenora Fernandez, Grant monies (from sources other than industry) US National Institutes of Health National Institute on Drug Abuse (US NIDA) under the program NIDA RO1 #13490 through the Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene, Columbia University, New York, USA.