What Medications Help Smoking Cessation?

Dr. Milan Khara, MBChB, CCFP,ABAM, discusses what medications help smoke cessation.

Loading the player...

Dr. Milan Khara, MBChB, CCFP,ABAM, discusses what medications help smoke cessation.
Video transcript

Featuring Dr. Milan Khara, MBChB, CCFP, ABAM
Video Title: What Medications Help Smoking Cessation?
Duration: 2 minutes, 3 seconds

The evidence tells us that when people use smoking cessation medications they’re more likely to be successful in quitting.  

There are three main classes to smoking cessation medications. The first is the nicotine replacement therapies, also known as the NRT’s. The nicotine replacement therapies consist of a patch, the gum, the lozenge, the inhaler and we also have an oral spray as well.

It’s a good approach to smoking cessation, and all are available over the counter and the evidence suggests that if you use one of those products, you’ll approximately double the likelihood of success compared to using nothing.

The second smoking cessation medication class is the antidepressants, in fact, of which there is only one and that is bupropion. Bupropion started out in life as an antidepressant and was noticed serendipitously to increase the likelihood of quitting smoking and again, the evidence suggests that this will approximately double your likelihood of success when compared to using nothing. So, bupropion is a good agent that we still use.

And, the last class of smoking cessation medications is a medication called verenicline. This is the newest smoking cessation medication that has been available since 2007 and the way that this works is that the verenicline molecule goes into the brain and lands in the same receptor where nicotine from the cigarette would land and essentially fools the bran into believing that it doesn’t need to see the nicotine from a cigarette.

So, there is a menu of options available when we think about the choices of smoking cessation medications. In fact, sometimes it may be wise to use a combination with more than one of these products. It’s valuable to discuss with a healthcare professional, which may be the best option for you.    

Presenter: Dr. Milan Khara, Family Doctor, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Family Doctor

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.