Combining Weight Counseling With Medication Helps Women Stop Smoking

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A new study finds that weight-focused behavioral therapy plus the medication bupropion is more successful than standard helping women quit smoking.

The Study

Published in the March 22 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, this new study looked at almost 350 female smokers with weight concerns. Women were randomly assigned to one of the following treatments:

  1. Bupropion (a smoking cessation medication) plus CONCERNS, a cognitive behavioral therapy focused on issues with weight gain.
  2. A placebo plus CONCERNS.
  3. Bupropion plus counseling without a focus on weight gain.
  4. Placebo plus standard counseling.

The study's results showed that women who were receiving the CONCERNS therapy were more likely to abstain from smoking and have a longer time before relapse if they were taking bupropion rather than the placebo. For the women who received standard counseling, taking bupropion didn't seem to make a difference.

What Does This Mean?

Quitting smoking often results in weight gain, which can be of particular concern to women. For many, concern about weight gain is enough to keep them from quitting or to cause a relapse if they do quit. This study points to a promising approach for female smokers concerned about weight gain, suggesting that a combination therapy may prove particularly effective.

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