A pilot clinical trial of varenicline for smoking cessation in Black smokers

Nicole L. Nollen, Lisa Sanderson Cox, Niaman Nazir, Edward F. Ellerbeck, Ashli Owen, Sydni Pankey, Nia Thompson, Jasjit S. Ahluwalia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Introduction: Varenicline, a first-line non-nicotine medication, has not been evaluated in Black smokers, and limited attention has been paid to pharmacotherapy adherence in smoking cessation trials. This pilot study estimated quit rates for Black smokers treated with varenicline and tested a behavioral intervention to aid varenicline adherence. Methods: Seventy-two Black smokers (>10 cigarettes per day; cpd) were randomly assigned to adherence support (AS; n = 36) or standard care (n = 36). All participants received 3 months of varenicline and a single counseling session focused on making a quit plan. AS participants received 5 additional counseling sessions to encourage medication use. Outcome measures included salivary cotinine, and carbon monoxide confirmed smoking abstinence, reductions in self-reported cpd, and pill counts of varenicline adherence at Months 1, 2, and 3. Results: Sixty-one participants (84.7%) completed follow-up at Month 3. Participants were female (62.5%), 46.8 years of age, and smoked 16.3 cpd. No treatment group differences were found on the smoking or adherence outcome measures (p > .05). Collapsing across treatment, varenicline adherence was adequate (86.1%), yet despite a reduction of 12.2 (6.5) cpd from baseline to Month 3 (p < 0.001), only 23.6% were confirmed quit at Month 3. Participants who were quit at Month 3 had higher varenicline adherence rates (95.8%) than those who continued to smoke (80.8%, p ≤ .05). Conclusions: Studies are needed to examine the efficacy of varenicline among Black smokers. Interventions to facilitate adherence to pharmacotherapy warrant further attention as adherence is linked to improved tobacco abstinence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)868-873
Number of pages6
JournalNicotine and Tobacco Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2011


Dive into the research topics of 'A pilot clinical trial of varenicline for smoking cessation in Black smokers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this