Citation Shahab L, Mortimer E, Bauld L, McGowan JA, McNeill A & Tyndale RF (2017) Characterising the nicotine metabolite ratio and its association with treatment choice: A cross sectional analysis of Stop Smoking Services in England, Scientific Reports, 7, Art. No.: 17613.
Abstract Pharmacotherapy provision based on Nicotine Metabolite Ratio (NMR) status (slow/normal metabolism) may improve smoking cessation rates. However, it is unclear whether NMR status is consistent across patient characteristics and current treatment choice. Data come from 1,826 participants attending Stop Smoking Services (SSS) across England in 2012/13. Sociodemographic, mental/physical health, smoking and treatment characteristics (nicotine replacement therapy vs. other pharmacotherapy; group vs. one-to-one behavioural support) were assessed. Salivary nicotine metabolites were measured and NMR (3-hydroxycotinine/cotinine) computed, characterising smokers as slow (NMR<0.31) or normal (NMR≥0.31) metabolisers. Normal metabolisers were older than slow metabolisers (Odds Ratio (OR) =1.49, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) =1.32–1.69) but no other characteristics were associated with NMR status. Overall, predictors accounted for only 7.3% of NMR variance. In adjusted analysis, pharmacotherapy type was not associated with NMR status, but normal metabolisers were less likely to use group support (OR =0.67, 95% CI =0.51–0.89). NMR status does not vary substantially across sociodemographic characteristics. Given its impact on pharmacotherapy efficacy, the lack of an association with pharmacotherapy choice suggests there is scope to use NMR status to optimise the selection and efficacy of smoking cessation pharmacotherapy. The unexpected association of NMR status with behavioural support should be explored further.