A press release issued by two scientists recommends that Zyban or Chantix (Champix in the UK) be subscribed to smokers being treated with mental illness.
Shockingly, the scientists behind the study recommend that counsellors take advantage of the position of trust they have built up with patients to push the drugs, stating:
“They [the study results] find if you take advantage of the relationship with the counselor and insert smoking cessation counseling into treatment that you enhance quit rates.”
Numerous side effects have been reported with these drugs. These side effects include a threat to mental health.
The FDA has received 98 reports of suicide and 188 attempts of attempted suicide with Chantix, and 4,762 serious psychiatric events.
Both drugs now carry a health warning that usage may lead to suicidal thoughts.
According to Thomas Moore, a scientist at the Drug Safety and Policy Institute for Safe Medication Practices, doctors and patients should consider recommending alternatives to the drugs
Source: Calgary Herald
Conflict of Interest
What was not mentioned in the press release was a financial conflict of interest discovered by Professor Michael Siegel.
Both the scientists had received funding from big pharm.
One scientist, Dr George had received grant support from Pfizer, Sepracor, Targacept, and Sanofi-aventis, and is a consultant to Pfizer, Prempharm, Glaxo-SmithKline, Eli Lilly, Janssen-Ortho, and Evotec.
Source: Tobacco Analysis Blog
The Broader Picture
We are not recommending that these drugs should be removed.
It estimated that around a third of smokers will die from smoking related diseases, and that 1% of Chantix users will suffer side effects.
Assuming these statistics are correct (and we all know the famous saying) it seems like an obvious choice, and one which smokers should be allowed to make should they wish to quit.
Just like it is an obvious choice to use electronic cigarettes, which scientists such as Dr Joel Nitzkin estimate has less than one percent of the risk of cigarettes. (See an Interview with Dr Joel Nitzin.)
The difference being, unfortunately, that electronic cigarettes do just not have the same money behind them as the nicotine cessation aids marketed by Big Pharm.
Ready to switch? Visit the Electronic Cigarette Store.