WHO Guide to Mental and Neurological Health in Primary Care
Homepage Diagnostic checklists Interactive Summary Cards Downloads About this site

WHO Collaborating Centre

Homepage :: Adult disorders :: Smoking cessation :: Medication


  • Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and bupropion are recommended for smokers who have expressed a desire to quit and who feel they need pharmacological help in quitting, or who have had multiple previous failed attempts (ref 224).
  • NRTs include gum, patches or sprays and these work to enhance the impact of face-to-face behavioural interventions; there is little scientific basis for matching individual smokers to particular forms of NRT (ref 225,228)
  • Bupropion can be used in combination with other interventions.
  • Cautions and contraindications should be taken into account when prescribing these medications. Potential negative effects should be discussed with patients.


224 National Institute for Clinical Excellence. Guidance on the Use of Nicotine Replacement Therapy and Bupropion for Smoking Cessation. URL http://www.nice.org.uk. (AI) Both drugs are effective in smoking cessation.

225 Jackson G, Bobak A, Chorlton I et al. Smoking cessation: a consensus statement with special reference to primary care. ICGP 2001, 55: 385-392

228 Silagy C, Mant D, Fowler G, Lancaster T. Nicotine replacement therapy for smoking cessation. (Cochrane Review). In: The Cochrane Library, Issue 2, 1999. Oxford: Update Software. (AI) One hundred and ten studies were analysed. All forms of nicotine replacement therapy can help people quit smoking, almost doubling long-term success rates.

Last edited: 26/1/2004

PREVIOUS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 NEXT
(Page 5 of 7 in this chapter).

2003-4 World Health Organization - UK Collaborating Centre