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New medication appears effective in helping smokers kick the habit

used for decades as a smoking cessation drug in Eastern European countries, according to background information in the article.

Jean-Francois Etter, Ph.D., M.P.H., of the University of Geneva, Switzerland, reviewed the literature on the effect of cytisine on smoking cessation. Ten studies were found, and all were conducted in Bulgaria, Germany, Poland and Russia between 1967 and 2005.

"Research conducted during the past 40 years suggests that cytisine is effective for smoking cessation," Dr. Etter reports. "Thus, an apparently effective smoking cessation drug that has been used for decades in Germany and Eastern European countries remained unnoticed in other countries."

Most of the articles reviewed by Dr. Etter were never cited in English-language literature. Recent reviews of the efficacy of smoking cessation drugs omitted cytisine, and little research on the drug has been conducted in recent years.

Dr. Etter suggests the omission may be explained because studies on the efficacy of cytisine were not published in English and because the available research is based on studies that do not conform to current standards in conducting and reporting drug trials.

"An apparently effective treatment for the first avoidable cause of death in developed countries remained largely unnoticed, despite research published during the past 40 years," he concludes. "How many other effective drugs are there for which efficacy remained unnoticed because existing trials were not published in English in Western countries?" (Arch Intern Med. 2006;166:1553-1559. Available pre-embargo to the media at http://www.jamamedia.org.)


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Contact: Media Relations
mediarelations@jama-archives.org
312-464-5262
JAMA and Archives Journals
14-Aug-2006


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