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Grant Details

Grant Number: 1R01CA284649-01 Interpret this number
Primary Investigator: Smith, Tracy
Organization: Medical University Of South Carolina
Project Title: A Clinical Trial of Adaptive Treatment for Early Smoking Cessation Relapse
Fiscal Year: 2023


Abstract Most smokers want to quit smoking, and most smokers try to quit smoking each year. Yet, most attempts to quit smoking fail. FDA-approved pharmacotherapies can help, but non-response, either through relapse or through inability to initiate cessation, is still the most common outcome. Despite the frequency of treatment non-response, few trials have investigated the best path forward for treatment in these instances—should smokers try to quit again with the same pharmacotherapy, consistent with package guidelines to continue with treatment for 12 weeks, or should early failure be preempted and met with a change in pharmacotherapy? Further, for smokers who have tried to quit with pharmacotherapy multiple times and are still smoking, is it better to switch to a less harmful tobacco product rather than trying to quit repeatedly with FDA-approved pharmacotherapy? The proposed adaptive treatment trial will test whether 1) switching between pharmacotherapies following an initial failure better promotes abstinence than a repeated attempt with the same pharmacotherapy, and 2) whether switching to e-cigarettes following successive failures with multiple pharmacotherapies better promotes abstinence from cigarettes than a third attempt to quit with the same course of pharmacotherapy. Daily smokers across South Carolina and Alabama who are willing to set a quit date (N=544) will be provided with a 4-week supply of FDA approved smoking-cessation medication and provided with instructions to set a date and to quit smoking completely. First-course medication will be either combination nicotine replacement therapy (transdermal nicotine patch and oral nicotine lozenge) or varenicline, counterbalanced. After four weeks of treatment, those who have not responded to initial treatment (i.e., non-responders) will be assigned in a 2:1 fashion to either Adaptive Treatment (medication switch) or Non-Adaptive Treatment (medication continuance; Aim 1). After a second four weeks of treatment, non-responders will be assigned in a 2:1 fashion to either a Harm Reduction Approach (to switch to a less harmful tobacco product; e-cigarettes) or Non-Adaptive Treatment (medication continuance; Aim 2), again with instructions to switch or quit completely. Outcomes include biochemically-confirmed 7-day abstinence from smoking, smoking reduction, measures of dependence, duration of abstinence, and dual use, each measured at key intervention timepoints: after each course of treatment, with follow-up through six months. This innovative R01 application is led by two seasoned investigators with expertise in smoking cessation, harm reduction, and remote clinical trials. The research question is highly significant and is positioned to provide strong, data-driven guidance on treatment decision making for the most common problem facing even the best treatments for smoking: failure. Trial results provide a significant opportunity to optimize cessation outcomes for smokers who continue to struggle in quitting.



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