A new prescription medicine available from Pfizer, Chantix™ (varenicline) has been shown to improve the chances for quitting smoking over other options such as Zyban®. Anyone who has tried to quit smoking understands the great difficulty involved. Most smokers relapse at least once for a substantial period of time before complete cessation and more than 50% who try to quit smoking fail. However, Pfizer has introduced medication that is 44% effective in achieving smoking cessation, without any additional pharmacological treatment.
Introduced in 2006, Chantix™ has been shown to be more than 13% more effective than Zyban® and more than 30% more effective than no pharmacological treatment. If you factor out the typical initial relapse, this medication may have a success rate of greater than 66%.
Chantix™ is a medication that provides a chemical that binds with nicotine receptors. Nicotine receptors exist naturally and contribute to the addictive factors of nicotine and therefore smoking. In particular, α4β2 subtype of the (nicotine) acetylcholine receptor is partially blocked by Chantix™. This serves as a substitute for the typical “fix” your chemical neurological paths typically receive from cigarettes. This can ease the many symptoms of withdrawal such as:
-Inability to Concentrate
-Excessive Weight Gain
In addition to Chantix™, the following can be helpful when trying to quit smoking:
– Visualize cancer – every time you reach out for a cigarette, imagine yourself suffering from cancer and your family caring for you. This would be painful enough vision, which would hopefully dissuade you from lighting another cigarette.
– Be ready – you will definitely experience withdrawal symptoms. Research with the help of the Internet and your doctor and be aware of what would be following. Find out from your doctor how you could manage the worst symptoms and be ready when it manifests.
– Enlist help – get the help of your family and friends in quitting smoking. Request them to remind you about your commitment every time you feel tempted to go back to smoking. You may also ask them not to smoke in front of you if they are still smoking.
– Team up – you could make a group of friends or family (like spouse) and quit together. In this way you could support and encourage each other while the resolution to quit this habit is strengthened by the members in your group.
– Try supporting products – there are plenty of supportive products in the market which would help you quit such as nicotine patch, anti-smoking chewing gum, etc. Go for the best and most popular brands and use them as per the instructions. These often handle withdrawal symptoms best.
– Be strong – once you decide to quit, do not entertain the idea of ‘if’ or ‘but’. Find out alternatives every time you feel the “urge” and gradually you would overcome it.
– Drink plenty fluids – some reports say that drinking citric fruit juice in the first few days after you quit smoking helps a lot. If you do not like juice, try drinking plenty of water. Have something at hand to chew/ drink so you would not thin of smoking.
– Ban cigarettes – you need to ban cigarettes in your home and office. Once you have quit do not allow your friends smoke in front of you lest the temptation be enough to lure you back.
– Eat healthy food – check up with your doctor and have a few changes in your diet. Try to eat healthy yet tasty food to compensate the feeling of loss when you think of cigarettes. Watch out however, that you do not start overeating. Many people start gaining weight after quitting smoking because they feel hungry and the food tastes better.
– Motivate yourself – start saving the money you were spending on cigarettes (and on harming yourself) in a piggy bank. Most people send on an average $20-30 per week. At the end of the month do something you enjoy with this money – or give it to charity.