Varenicline Is More Effective in Attenuating Weight Gain Than Nicotine Patch 12 Months After the End of Smoking Cessation Therapy: An Observational Study in Japan

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Although both varenicline and nicotine patch have a beneficial effect in controlling postcessation weight gain, it is not well known whether there is a difference in the effect.


We conducted a multi-institutional study on smoking cessation therapy (SCT) administered at 4 Japanese hospitals to compare the body weight change from the first session to 12 months after the end of SCT (at 60 weeks) between varenicline users (n = 307) and nicotine patch users (n = 45).


The mean weight change from baseline to 12 months after the end of SCT was +0.94kg (SD: 3.59) in varenicline users and +2.78kg (SD: 4.88) in nicotine patch users (p = .003, by t test). In multivariate linear regression analysis, varenicline users gained significantly less weight than nicotine patch users (coefficient: −1.787, 95% CI = −2.98 to −0.59) with adjustment for success of quit smoking, age, sex, presence of comorbidity, body mass index at baseline, Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence, craving at the end of SCT, and nausea through the SCT.


Our results indicated that varenicline is more effective in attenuating weight gain than nicotine patch in smokers who received Japanese SCT.

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