A new study finds smokers who use the prescription drug varenicline together with nicotine patches are more successful in giving up cigarettes for up to six months, compared with those who use the drug alone.
The 446 smokers in the study received either a nicotine patch and varenicline, or a placebo patch and varenicline. Treatment continued for 12 weeks after the smokers’ quit date. Researchers checked in with the study participants after 24 weeks, and again after six months. They found 65 percent of those using varenicline and the nicotine patch were not smoking after six months, compared with 47 percent of those who used varenicline and a placebo patch. Varenicline is sold under the brand name Chantix.