Smoking is the leading risk factor for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Although many COPD patients regret having started smoking and want to quit, giving up their smoking addiction can be hard, and relapse back to smoking can be common. COPD patients need to be supported to quit smoking and remain smoke-free long-term, because stopping smoking can prolong their lives, and increase their quality of life.
In New Zealand COPD patients who smoke are offered a range of smoking cessation medicines, together with advice and support around the quitting process. The very best smoking cessation medicine available in New Zealand is varenicline – also known as "Champix". Although evidence shows that Champix can help COPD patients quit smoking, we don’t know whether Champix can prevent relapse back to smoking in COPD patients. We are therefore running a clinical trial to answer this question.