A team led by Paul Cinciripini, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Behavioral Science at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, investigated the relative efficacy of varenicline and bupropion - both popular anti-smoking drugs on the market - plus intensive counseling to assess the drugs' effects on smoking-cessation and emotional functioning while quitting.
"National surveys show that about 20 percent of adults continue to smoke, but it's disproportionally high among people in low socioeconomic populations and those with mental illness," Cinciripini said.
"When smokers try to quit, many are likely to experience a range of nicotine withdrawal symptoms, including negative mood, difficulty concentrating, irritability and even depressive symptoms making quitting difficult and increases the chances of relapse."
"Our findings suggest that smokers trying to quit will have a better experience with varenicline as opposed to trying to quit on their own or by taking bupropion," he added.
The study is published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.