In 2009, the FDA required a black box warning (BBW) on bupropion and varenicline, the two commonly prescribed smoking cessation agents due to reports of adverse neuropsychiatric events. We investigated if there was a decline in use of bupropion and varenicline after the BBW by comparing the percent using these medications before and after BBW. We conducted a retrospective observational study using data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey from 2007 to 2014. The study sample consisted of adult smokers, who were advised by their physicians to quit smoking. We divided the time period into “pre-warning”, “post-warning: immediate”, and “post-warning: late.” Unadjusted analysis using chi-square tests and adjusted analyses using logistic regressions were conducted to evaluate the change in bupropion and varenicline use before and after the BBW. Secondary analyses using piecewise regression were also conducted. On an average, 49.04% of smokers were advised by their physicians to quit smoking. We observed a statistically significant decline in varenicline use from 22.1% in year 2007 to 9.23% in 2014 (p value < 0.001). In the logistic (Adjusted Odds Ratio = 0.36, 95% CI = 0.22–0.58) and piecewise regressions (Odds Ratio = 0.64, 95% CI = 0.41–0.99) smokers who were advised to quit smoking by their physicians were less likely to use varenicline in the immediate post-BBW period as compared to pre-BBW period.
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Over at Twitter, one of the focal points as Congress and others focus on Russia’s alleged use of social media to influence the election is the prevalence of bots on the platform , which can be commandeered to disseminate disingenuous information. If you thought the days of Big Tobacco ads on mainstream media were over, think again. At least temporarily. From November, the makers of brands including Marlboro and Camel have been forced by a court to buy prime-time TV spots and newspaper ads to settle a lawsuit brought nearly two decades ago by the U.S. Department of Justice over misleading statements the industry had made about the health effects of cigarettes, The Wall Street Journal reports. The ads won’t display graphic images but instead will present stark black-and-white text statements stating how tobacco companies “intentionally designed cigarettes to make them more addictive,” while another will say “more people die every year from smoking than from murder, AIDS, suicide, drugs, car crashes, and alcohol, combined.” Amazingly, there’s no requirement these ads run on any digital channels, where many young, impressionable people who might be considering taking up smoking tend to consume a lot of their media. “I think [tobacco companies are] getting off kind of lightly,” said John Boiler, co-founder of 72andSunny, an agency that does work for the antitobacco nonprofit Truth Campaign. CMO Today’s Alexandra Bruell reports: Anheuser-Busch InBev has consolidated its global media account with four agencies, down from eight. Dentsu Aegis Network wins the large U.S. account from incumbent Mediacom, which is owned by WPP.