Sustained-release bupropion for smoking cessation in African Americans: A randomized controlled trial

J. S. Ahluwalia, K. J. Harris, D. Catley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Although African Americans experience high morbidity and mortality attributable to smoking and have smoking and quitting patterns different from those of other groups, few clinical trials for smoking cessation have been conducted in African Americans. This study compared bupropion sustained release (bupropion SR) with placebo for smoking cessation among African Americans. Method; Volunteers who smoked > 10 cigarettes per day were recruited by target media and health care professionals. A total of 600 African American adults treated at a community-based health care center were included in this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial conducted from February 11, 1999, to December 8, 2000. Participants were randomly assigned to 7 weeks of twice-daily treatment with either 150 mg of bupropion SR (N = 300) or placebo (N = 300). Brief motivational counseling was provided in person at baseline, quit day, weeks 1 and 3, and end of treatment (week 6) and by telephone at day 3 and weeks 5 and 7. Biochemically confirmed 7-day point prevalence abstinence at weeks 6 and 26 following quit day was the chief outcome measure. Results: At the end of 7 weeks of treatment, the confirmed abstinence rates were 36.0% with bupropion SR and 19.0% with placebo (intent-to-treat analysis; 17.0 percentage point difference; 95% Cl = 9.7 to 24.4; p < .001). Abstinence rates at 26 weeks were 21.0% with bupropion SR and 13.7% with placebo (7.3 percentage point difference; 95% Cl = 1.0 to 13.7; p = .02). A greater mean ± SD reduction in depression symptoms at week 6 was experienced by subjects receiving bupropion SR (2.96 ± 9.45) than by those receiving placebo (1.13 ± 8.84), and after continuous abstinence was controlled for, bupropion SR-treated subjects gained less weight than those receiving placebo. Conclusions: Bupropion SR was effective in helping African Americans quit smoking and may be an aid in reducing smoking-attributable health disparities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116
Number of pages1
JournalPrimary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002


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