Varenicline (Chantix) and nicotine replacements help some people quit smoking, though not the majority. Here are the results of these drugs, and where to go from here.
Various medicinal products on the market can help take the edge off cigarette cravings. This can help those who are truly motivated to quit smoking, but these drugs help only a minority of those who take them.
Medications Used to Stop Smoking: Varenicline
Varenicline (Chantix) was approved two years ago by the FDA. In controlled studies, varenicline seems to quadruple the chance of quitting initially. It also increases the likelihood that the person will remain smoke-free over the long term. There are some side effects, particularly nausea, which can improve over time. Even in spite of the successes, varenicline works only for a minority of patients.
Varenicline is a pill that works by partially imitating the effects of nicotine (the addictive substance in cigarette smoke) in the blood, thereby cutting down on withdrawal symptoms. It also partially blocks the effects of nicotine so that a smoker does not derive as much satisfaction from smoking a cigarette. It is chemically similar to a medicinal herb that has been used in Europe for some time.
Clinical trials can tend to over-promise results because the support and education that people in clinical trials receive is not received by people using the drug on their own. People using these medications on their own might wish to seek out support or help from professional counselors in addition to using the medication.
Nicotine Replacement to Quit Smoking
Nicotine replacement methods have been on the market for years. Nicotine gum, lozenges, inhalers and patches supply nicotine to the body without the use of cancer-causing smoke. About one-quarter of smokers who use nicotine replacement methods succeed in quitting and one-third become dependent on the nicotine replacement, which is contraindicated for pregnant women and people with heart disease.
Anti-Depressants to Stop Smoking
Anti-depressant drugs such as Buproprion, and tricyclic anti-depressants like imapramine also have helped some people quit but the large majority of smokers are not helped by these drugs.
Supportive Ways to Quit Smoking
Even with the use of pharmacology, smokers who want to quit will have to be prepared to modify their behavior , because no drug will actually eliminate cravings. In addition, medications cannot take away the appeal of cigarettes with regard to the social aspect, the tactile appeal of holding the cigarette, and perceived weight loss benefits.
Hypnosis & RTT Therapy
In order to succeed, true motivation is required, and skills need to be developed. This is a more involved process than taking a pill. It should involve a type of hypnotherapy like that offered in this RTT London clinic, cognitive-behavioral therapy, or utilizing online resources to explore and understand what ones true motivation to stop smoking is, and how to handle the difficult moments. Nicotine cravings do eventually pass if people do not give in to them.
It is estimated that one billion people could die in the 21st century as a result of cigarette smoking. Thats one good reason not to give up trying to quit. Whatever failed attempts were made in the past do not doom motivated people to failure today. Learn from the past, try again or try something new.