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Changes in Alcohol Consumption During a Stop-Smoking Attempt and Differences Between Smokers Using Nicotine Replacement and Smokers Using Varenicline.

Nicotine Tob Res; 20(5): 583-588, 2018 Apr 02.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28521015


Little is known about effects of smoking cessation on alcohol consumption. Varenicline reduces enjoyment of smoking and cigarette consumption and may also reduce enjoyment and consumption of alcohol. We conducted the first prospective examination of the effects of stopping smoking on alcohol enjoyment and consumption and compared clients using varenicline and nicotine replacement treatment (NRT).


Audit of records from clients undergoing routine smoking cessation treatment in three stop-smoking services in London, United Kingdom. The sample comprised smokers who consume alcohol and underwent smoking cessation treatment with either varenicline (N = 230) or NRT (N = 62). Alcohol enjoyment and consumption were reported before and on the target quit day (TQD) and 1 and 4 weeks post-TQD.


Participants reduced their alcohol consumption in week 1 of their quit attempt (15.0-12.7 units per/week, p = .001).In heavy drinkers, the change remained significant at 4 weeks (32.2-24.8 units per/week, p = .004). The type of medication used had no significant impact on the change. Smokers treated with varenicline versus NRT were more likely to report reduced enjoyment of alcohol on TQD (20% vs. 10%, respectively, p < .001) and at 4 weeks post-TQD (20% vs. 6%, respectively, p = .014). Results were similar for abstainers and those who did not manage to stop smoking.


Making a stop-smoking attempt is accompanied by a reduction in drinking. The finding has implications for policies concerned with effects of stopping smoking on alcohol use. Varenicline may affect enjoyment of drinking, but its potential to alter drinking behavior is small.Implications: The finding that smokers making a quit attempt reduce their alcohol consumption has practical implications for treatment providers who are concerned about the possible effects of smoking cessation on alcohol drinking. Although varenicline may reduce alcohol enjoyment compared to NRT, it does not appear to have a significant impact on alcohol consumption.