Smoking cessation after myocardial infarction

Low adherence to early-use smoking cessation medications after myocardial infarction.

Close up of man holding lit cigarette

The immediate period after myocardial infection (MI) represents a window of opportunity to encourage patients to quit smoking. However, the prevalence of pharmacologic therapies among patients following MI in community practice is unknown.

Gathering data from the Acute Coronary Treatment and Intervention Outcomes Network Registry in the United States, researchers identified 9,193 smoking patients with MI between April 2007 and December 2013.

Of those, 97% of patients received smoking cessation counselling during their hospital stay but only 7% used early-prescription smoking cessation medications (SCM), primarily bupropion and varenicline. The median duration of use was 6.2 weeks for bupropion and 4.3 weeks for varenicline. Only 36.7% of bupropion users and 19.7% of varenicline users filled prescriptions for the typically recommended course of 12 weeks.

The results suggest the need for words to be followed by action, the researchers concluded in JAMA Cardiology (online, 19 July 2017), as well as opportunities for further education on adherence to reduce relapses in smoking behaviour[1]


[1] Pagidipati N, Hellkamp A, Thomas L et al. Use of prescription smoking cessation medications after myocardial infarction among older patients in community practice. JAMA Cardiol 2017. doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2017.2369

Last updated
Clinical Pharmacist, CP, January 2018, Vol 10, No 1;10(1):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2017.20203970

You may also be interested in