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Smoking cessation in Asians: focus on varenicline

Authors Xiao D, Chu S, Wang C

Received 30 September 2014

Accepted for publication 5 December 2014

Published 13 April 2015 Volume 2015:9 Pages 579—584


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Dan Xiao,* Shuilian Chu,* Chen Wang

Clinical Cessation and Tobacco Medicine Research Centre, China-Japan Friendship Hospital, Beijing, People’s Republic of China

*These authors are the co-first authors

Abstract: Smoking is a modifiable risk factor for morbidity and mortality caused by cancer, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, and many other diseases. Given the large population size and high prevalence of smoking in Asia, successful smoking cessation could potentially prevent the large number of premature deaths in Asians. However, most dependent smokers cannot successfully quit smoking due to nicotine addiction, and they need professional help and smoking cessation therapies. Varenicline is a highly selective partial agonist for the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor α4β2 subtype, which is believed to be responsible for mediating the reinforcing properties of nicotine. This article is a narrative review, which summarizes the smoking cessation efficacy, side effects, and cost utilities of varenicline in Asians. From this review, we conclude that varenicline is an effective medication that could assist smoking cessation in the Asian populations. The adverse events of varenicline are tolerable, and the most common events were nausea and abnormal dreams. Both the efficacy and tolerance of varenicline in Asians are similar to that in Western populations. Considering the cost utilities, varenicline should be recommended for use in smoking cessation and be covered by medical insurance in most Asian countries.

Keywords: effectiveness, safety, cost efficacy

Corrigendum for this paper has been published

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