(HealthDay News) — Extended pre-quit bupropion is associated with reduced smoking behavior during the pre-quit period and improved short-term abstinence rates, according to a study published online January 14 in Nicotine & Tobacco Research.

Larry W. Hawk Jr., PhD, from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and colleagues examined whether four weeks of pre-quit bupropion results in greater pre-quit reductions in smoking rate than the standard one week of pre-quit bupropion (standard run-in). Ninety-five adult smokers (48 females) were randomly allocated to a standard run-in group (48 participants) or an extended run-in group (47 participants). Group behavioral counseling and seven weeks of post-quit bupropion were provided to all participants.

The researchers found that, compared with the standard run-in group, the extended run-in group demonstrated a greater reduction in smoking rate during the pre-quit period (P=0.03). A similar pattern was seen for cigarette craving and salivary cotinine, although the latter was only seen in women. The rates of biochemically verified four-week continuous abstinence were elevated in the extended run-in vs. standard run-in group (53 vs. 31 percent; P=0.033).

“The data are consistent with extinction-of-reinforcement model and support further investigation of extended run-in bupropion therapy for smoking cessation,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry; one author provides expert testimony in litigation against cigarette manufacturers and is involved in a trial evaluating a nicotine vaccine.

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