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Approach May Help Smokers With Weight-Gain Concern

In women, cognitive behavioral therapy for weight concerns plus bupropion may help with cessation

THURSDAY, March 25 (HealthDay News) -- Cognitive behavioral therapy combined with bupropion may be helpful for female smokers who are trying to quit but are concerned about weight gain, according to research published in the March 22 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Michele D. Levine, Ph.D., of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and colleagues analyzed data from 349 women who wanted to quit smoking and had concerns about post-cessation weight gain. Women were randomized to receive cognitive behavioral therapy for smoking-related weight concerns, dubbed CONCERNS, or standard cessation treatment with no specific weight focus, dubbed STANDARD. Each group was further subdivided into women receiving placebo or bupropion hydrochloride sustained release for six months.

The researchers found that those in the CONCERNS-bupropion group had higher abstinence rates and longer time to relapse than women in the STANDARD-bupropion or CONCERNS-placebo groups at six months. However, prolonged abstinence rates weren't significantly different at 12 months between either intervention that included bupropion. Abstinence rates and duration were similar in both STANDARD groups at six and 12 months, and post-cessation weight gain was similar in all abstinent women.

"In conclusion, among weight-concerned women smokers, bupropion therapy increased cessation rates when added to a specialized weight concerns intervention, but not when added to STANDARD counseling. When combined with bupropion therapy, the weight concerns counseling intervention tended to improve cessation rates and significantly lengthened abstinence duration during the period of active treatment, relative to STANDARD cessation counseling," the authors write.

GlaxoSmithKline provided the study drug and placebo free of charge, and two co-authors reported financial relationships with the company and/or Sanofi-Aventis.

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