Institution: Dominican University, River Forest, Illinois, 60305
Abstract: Cigarette smoking damages just about every organ in the body and reduces overall health. Even with the prevalence of accessible nicotine replacement therapies and behavioral counseling, there remains a need for alternative therapies to improve the odds of successfully abstaining from smoking in the long term. Bupropion sustained-release (SR) is a pharmacological, prescription-only intervention that is approved as a first-line treatment for smoking cessation. This meta-analysis examines the effectiveness of bupropion sustained-release for smoking cessation amongst heavy smokers, defined as those who consistently smoke at least fifteen or more cigarettes per day. Across five qualifying studies, bupropion SR increased odds of cessation over placebo treatment at six and twelve months. Bupropion SR is a well-tolerated, non-nicotinic therapy for smoking cessation. Treatment with bupropion SR reduces initial cravings and withdrawal effects but does not appear to address the multi-faceted problem of cigarette addiction, resulting in decreased abstinence rates over time. An integrated approach incorporating bupropion SR with other interventions, such as nicotine replacement therapies and psychotherapy, may provide the necessary means to achieve lasting cessation and promote well-being.