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Home > Pharmacotherapy for smoking cessation: effects by subgroup defined by genetically informed biomarkers.

Schuit, Ewoud and Panagiotou, Orestis A and Munafo, Marcus R and Bennett, Derrick A and Bergen, Andrew W and David, Sean P (2017) Pharmacotherapy for smoking cessation: effects by subgroup defined by genetically informed biomarkers. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (9), . DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD011823.pub2.

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Quitting smoking dramatically reduces risk of premature death, but rates of smoking cessation remain low, even with the help of smoking cessation treatments. Recent research has suggested that differences in parts of our genes, called 'genotypes', may help us to tell which smokers could be helped most by different treatments. However, more research is needed to confirm whether or not our genes affect how effective different treatments are at helping people to quit.


Study characteristics

We searched for studies of smokers treated with medicine to help them quit. We looked at people's genes and at how well their bodies could process nicotine, as this might help us to identify people more likely to quit successfully. We found 33 studies relevant to our review, and we were able to get enough information for 18 clinical trials, including over 9000 smokers, that looked at different medicines used to help people to stop smoking.


Key results

The results suggest that smokers with specific genotypes may be more likely to be successful quitting smoking with the use of nicotine replacement therapies compared with smokers who do not have those specific genotypes. Smokers whose bodies process nicotine more slowly may also benefit more from nicotine replacement therapy. We did not see effects of genes on the effectiveness of medicines other than nicotine replacement therapy.


Quality of evidence

These results should be interpreted with caution because the included studies did not assign treatments to smokers on the basis of genotype or the rate at which they process nicotine, and because a small number of clinical trials were included in some comparisons.

Item Type
Publication Type
International, Review, Article
Drug Type
Tobacco / Nicotine
Intervention Type
Drug therapy, Treatment method
September 2017
Identification #
DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD011823.pub2
John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
Place of Publication

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