European Commission has Approved Anti-Smoking Pill
About 25% of all American adults (46.3 million people) smoke. This number has remained constant for several years despite government efforts through Healthy People 2000 and Healthy People 2010 to lower those percentages. Slightly more men (28.1%) smoke than women (23.5%). Hispanics (20.4%) smoke less than whites (25.3%) or African Americans (26.7%).
Cigarette smoking remains the leading cause of death and illness among Americans. Every year, roughly 430,000 Americans die from illnesses caused by tobacco use, accounting for one fifth of all deaths. Tobacco use costs the nation about $100 billion each year in direct medical expense and lost productivity.
Both lung cancer and emphysema would become quite rare if people would stop smoking. Compared to a nonsmoker, a smoker faces these risks:
- 14 times greater risk of dying from cancer of the lung, throat, or mouth
- 4 times greater risk of dying from cancer of the esophagus
- 2 times greater risk of dying from a heart attack
- 2 times greater risk of dying from cancer of the bladder.
Currently, there are three forms of nicotine replacement therapy available over-the-counter; nicotine transdermal systems or patches (Nicoderm CQ and Nicotrol), nicotine polacrilex resin or gum (Nicorette), and nicotine lozenges (Commit).
Nicotine for nicotine replacement therapy is available by prescription as an inhaler or nasal spray (Nicotrol Inhaler and Nicotrol NS). These other forms of delivery of nicotine seem to work as well as the nicotine patches or gum.
Bupropion hydrochloride (Zyban, Wellbutrin) is a medication that is used primarily for treating depression. This drug, however, also has been found to be effective in helping people to quit smoking.
Recently Pfizer introduced new anti-smoking pill named,Champix.
Champix will be available with a patient support plan which smokers can customize to address their individual behavioral triggers as they try to quit smoking.
Champix is believed to work by reducing the severity of the smoker's urge to smoke and alleviating many withdrawal symptoms from nicotine. In addition, if a person smokes a cigarette while receiving treatment, the medicine has the potential to diminish the satisfaction associated with smoking.
In Europe alone, more than 1.2 million people die each year from smoking-related diseases. By 2010, the World Health Organization predicts the annual global cost of tobacco-related illness will be about $500 billion, with Europe accounting for up to $165 billion of this sum.
The medication, varenicline, received Food and Drug Administration approval as an aid to quitting smoking in May, under the tradename Chantix.
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