Monday, August 20, 2007

Grain of Salt

It's still Chantix Day 75 and Smoke-free Day 63, and I had such a productive day (yep, made it happen as I'd hoped) that I almost forgot that I used to smoke. Except when I had some small urges. But then it was time to stir something or freeze something, so it didn't matter.

I take certain things I read online with a grain of salt because, well, I read it "online" somewhere. I do see a lot of stuff I find interesting, but I try to refrain from posting what I find if I'm not comfortable with trusting the source unless I can find another with the same information that I do trust. That said, I found this interesting enough to share, even if I couldn't find any further information about the Chantix trials released over the weekend that the article references. And so, with that take it with grain of salt preface, here's a few of the interesting bits from the article I read:
Two new trials of the smoking cessation medicine varenicline (Chantix) were published this past weekend. One reported the results in 515 nicotine-dependent Japanese smokers (mainly men) and the other reported the results in 250 Korean and Taiwanese smokers.
The article goes on with some information about placebo effect and appetite that I found interesting, and next says:
So far, the placebo-controlled trials of varenicline have been remarkably consistent in finding that it approximately doubles quit rates compared with placebo, and that this increased quit rate is maintained even after up to 40 weeks off drug. The early studies suggested that Chantix may result in higher quit rates than other pharmacological treatments for smoking. Whether this ultimately turns out to be the case will require additional studies directly comparing different treatments.

The take-home message for smokers interested in trying to quit is that this new medicine continues to demonstrate that it is safe and effective in increasing smokers’ chances of successfully quitting, with the most frequent side-effect being mild nausea (16-42% of users). The nausea is less marked at lower doses, and also appears less when taking the pill along with food and water. Most people using Chantix are able to continue using it and the initial nausea subsides. Those continuing to take Chantix for the full course (up to 24 weeks) tend to have higher quit rates than those discontinuing early.
Assuming the source is good and the information above true, it's nice to see more and more folks having success with Chantix and having it also doing well in studies. Hopefully more of this kind of thing will lead to more insurance companies covering Chantix and more people going ahead with quitting sooner rather than later now that there is another option that is "easier" (still *not* easy and still requires cooperation) than what many of us have tried in the past. I'm also very interested in the long-term success, but since Chantix is so new, long-term doesn't currently cover much time. I suppose in 10 or 20 years those of us now quitting will know how well it worked long-term, and I'm hoping that the answer is that we are still smoke-free. And maybe even stunningly good looking. And rich. And ridiculously happy. OK, OK, if it's just smoke-free, I suppose Chantix would have done its job, but that would make me happy and with more money not wasted and maybe even fewer wrinkles.


  1. Thanks for this posting. the results do sounds great. As as far as still not smoking 10 or 20 years down the road, I know we can do it! As far as wrinkles, well I've decided most of mine are from smiling and being happy. Being fair complected, I don't have much chance of ever being wrinkle free. ;)

  2. Interesting article, sounds great! But, really, it doesn't matter what any study says, when it comes down to it, WE control our own success rate, and for me, I KNOW I will be successful!!

  3. Amen, Sherri. I have smile lines because I've been a happy girl having plenty o'fun ;)

    MsTek, yep, it's all about what we do after the Chantix. The idea that Chantix does appear to help that much during the toughest part is great for getting folks more firmly planted on the path so that they blossom from there - or something ;)


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