Treatment for smoking cessation in general practice

About a quarter of the Dutch population smoke. Most smokers try to quit smoking, but chances of relapse are high. Smoking cessation can be supported by medication, complimentary to behavioural support. The Dutch guideline "Smoking cessation" for general practitioners opts nicotine replacement therapy as first option, and nortriptyline, bupropion or varenicline as second choice. Over the last years, prescribing of varenicline increased.

The Dutch Medicines Evaluation Board asked Nivel to provide insight in medication prescribing in general practice for smoking cessation, specifically prescribing of varenicline. This to support future decision making on medication for smoking cessation.