A Perioperative Smoking Cessation Intervention With Varenicline, Counseling, and Fax Referral to a Telephone Quitline Versus a Brief Intervention: A Randomized Controlled Trial

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The effectiveness of perioperative interventions to quit smoking with varenicline has not been compared with brief interventions. Our objective was to determine the efficacy of a comprehensive smoking cessation program versus a brief intervention for smoking cessation.


In this prospective, multicenter study, 296 patients were randomized to participate in a smoking cessation program (one 10- to 15-minute counseling session, pharmacotherapy with varenicline, an educational pamphlet, and a fax referral to a telephone quitline); or brief advice and self-referral to a telephone quitline. The primary outcome was the 7-day point prevalence (PP) abstinence at 12 months after surgery. Secondary outcomes included abstinence at 1, 3, and 6 months. Multivariable generalized linear regression was used to identify independent variables related to abstinence.


The 7-day PP abstinence for the smoking cessation program versus brief advice group was 42.4% vs 26.2% (relative risk [RR], 1.62; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.16–2.25; P = .003) at 12 months. The 7-day PP abstinence at 1, 3, and 6 months was higher in the smoking cessation group versus the brief advice group: 45.7% vs 25.5% (RR, 1.79; 95% CI, 1.29–2.49; P < .001), 46.4% vs 26.9% (RR, 1.72; 95% CI, 1.25–2.37; P< .001), and 45.0% vs 26.2% (RR, 1.72; 95% CI, 1.24–2.38; P < .001), respectively. Participating in the smoking cessation group predicted abstinence at 12 months (RR, 1.58; 95% CI, 1.12–2.21; P = .0087).


A perioperative smoking cessation program with counseling, pharmacotherapy with varenicline, an educational pamphlet, and a fax referral to a quitline increased abstinence from smoking 1, 3, 6, and 12 months after surgery versus a brief intervention.

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