Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Adherence to Pharmacological Smoking Cessation Interventions: A Literature Review and Synthesis of Correlates and Barriers.

Pacek LR, McClernon FJ, Bosworth HB. Adherence to Pharmacological Smoking Cessation Interventions: A Literature Review and Synthesis of Correlates and Barriers. Nicotine & tobacco research : official journal of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco. 2018 Sep 4; 20(10):1163-1172.

Related HSR&D Project(s)

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


Introduction: Efficacious pharmacological interventions for smoking cessation are available, but poor adherence to these treatments may limit these interventions overall impact. To improve adherence to smoking cessation interventions, it is first necessary to identify and understand smoker-level characteristics that drive nonadherence (ie, nonconformance with a provider's recommendation of timing, dosage, or frequency of medication-taking during the prescribed length of time). Methods: We present a literature review of studies examining correlates of, or self-reported reasons for, nonadherence to smoking cessation pharmacotherapies. Studies were identified through PubMed-using MeSH terms, Embase-using Emtree terms, and ISI Web of Science. Results and Conclusions: This literature review included 50 studies that examined nonpreventable (eg, sociodemographics) and preventable (eg, forgetfulness) factors associated with adherence to smoking cessation medication and suggestions for overcoming some of the identified barriers. Systematic study of this topic would be facilitated by consistent reporting of adherence and correlates thereof in the literature, development of consistent definitions of medication adherence across studies, utilization of more objective measures of adherence (eg, blood plasma levels vs. self-report) in addition to reliance on self-reported adherence. Implications: This article provides the most comprehensive review to date on correlates of adherence to pharmacological smoking cessation interventions. Challenges and specific gaps in the literature that should be a priority for future research are discussed. Future priorities include additional research, particularly among vulnerable populations of smokers, developing standardized definitions of adherence and methods for measuring adherence, regular assessment of cessation pharmacotherapy adherence in the context of research and clinical practice, and development of novel treatments aimed at preventable barriers to medication adherence.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.