Reducing exposure to cigarette smoke is an imperative for public health and for diabetic patients. Patients with diabetes who continue to smoke face challenges at quitting and the delivery of effective smoking cessation interventions is a major unmet need. The high-affinity α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor partial agonist varenicline in combination with counseling is effective for smoking cessation, but evidence in patients with diabetes is limited. A clinical trial of varenicline targeted specifically at smokers with T2DM is warranted. This randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled trial will be the first study to test efficacy and safety of varenicline in smokers with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) over the course of 52 weeks. We hypothesize that varenicline treatment (1 mg BID, administered for 12 weeks) would increase quit rates, maintain smoking abstinence up to 1 year after treatment, and be well-tolerated in T2DM smokers intending to quit. Efficacy end points will include carbon monoxide–confirmed continuous abstinence rate (CAR) and 7-day point prevalence of abstinence. The results of this RCT will help inform medical/health authorities and physicians worldwide whether an optimally varenicline-treated cohort of T2DM patients who smoke will experience significant success rates, without significant side effects.
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