The purpose of this study is to evaluate endothelial function and autonomic regulation in
smokers before and after short-term smoking cessation. We hypothesize that 2 weeks of
smoking cessation will improve endothelial function as measured by flow-mediated dilation.
We will also determine if endothelial function and autonomic regulation after short-term
smoking cessation differs for patients that achieve abstinence with the smoking cessation
agent varenicline compared to placebo.
- Regular smokers (currently >10 cigarettes/day; >5 pack years)
- Willing to quit smoking for at least the duration of the study
- Able and willing to give written informed consent
- Known condition causing endothelial dysfunction except smoking (i.e. diabetes,
hyperlipi¬demia, arterial hypertension, obesity)
- Regular drug treatment and/or sporadic consumption of drugs within the last 4 weeks
(exclusion has to be decided in each individual)
- Acute or chronic illness
- Participation in clinical trial within 1 month before the study
- Excessive daily intake of alcohol (>2 servings per day) or caffeine (>4 servings/day)
- Drug and/or alcohol abuse.