Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Start Champix earlier in quit attempt and it might work, says Pfizer study!

Pfizer's new study claiming that starting earlier on Champix would improve its effectiveness couldn't come at a better time. This drug has maimed countless lives, and is the subject of a black box warning. Peter Hajek of the UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies (no competing interests of course) and colleagues 'compare the effect to making food look unappealing. "The level of hunger pangs may be the same, but it is easier to resist a food that has become less tempting," they note.'

This is a poor comparison. Messing with someone's brain doesn't resemble disfiguring somebody's dinner. 

The people at the UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies know how ineffective many quit attempts are.  Another member, Tim Coleman expressed this view in November:
Currently stop smoking services are evaluated on the percentage of 4-week quitters, but around three-quarters relapse after this date. 
His solution was to attempt to get funding for people to take smoking cessation drugs (NRT) in the longer term as a kind of damage limitation exercise. A similar assessment comes from the Tobacco Control blog, discussing Turkey's new anti-smoking facilities:
It’s worth remembering that, if the Turkish experience mirrors international evidence, every hotline call represents several other smokers who have decided to quit on their own. Even in countries with excellent, and often free, quit resources, more than 80% of smokers quit cold turkey (pun intended!) on their own.
An editorial discussing this study comments: 
One in five Americans smokes [...] and only between 4 and 7 percent of those who try to stop succeed. 
 These people know what a poor success rate smoking cessation drugs have. Yet huge amounts of money are spent promoting them, even on solutions like Champix which occasionally spell disaster for those taking it and their families.  

ASH Scotland is on a crusade to persuade the managers of Scottish mental health facilities to remove smoking rooms. Their next event will 'explore the new implementation guidelines' published by the Scottish government. No doubt they will be urged to ensure that smoking cessation meds are always available to patients who are forced into a no-smoking regime at a catastrophic time in their lives. Stopping people from smoking trumps every other consideration.


Anonymous said...

I take it that the UK Tobacco Control mob will not take any notice of the WHO's request to distance themseles from the Pharma Industry.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a push to start kids early on Champix the same way with Ritalin. Maybe they can make it mandatory from age 5 or just inject them with the Champix-derived "vaccine" to kill off all yearnings for pleasure as a requirement for entry into public schooling. They can start them on anti-depressants at the same time and parents can rejoice over the social progress being made.

Belinda said...

Anon (2)

I can't see anything suggesting they want Champix approved for general issue to non-smokers, never mind under-age ones.

I think that's a bit OTT on the pleasure receptors as well. If the prime object of this medication was to destroy completely any experience of pleasure in smokers there would have been exponentially more suicides.

Anonymous said...

Yes, they may not suggest something now, but they may suggest it later on, once the ball gets rolling.

They did not suggest Guardisil vaccine for anyone but young girls - at first. Later on, now they suggest it for young boys and have created their reasons based on health scares why it should be given.

It's not entirely OTT to think later on, what starts out small, doesn't end up big.

There is a new anti-smoking vaccine being tested and due to be out later this year which from what I read is based on similar or the same chemicals as in Champix and it's said to go after the pleasure receptors, since there are no "nicotine receptors" per-se. And that too, once started, could one day be turned into a larger scare story to get parents to "vaccinate their kids against smoking" - it doesn't sound inconceivable to me - in the future, not at first.

When it comes to anti-smoking, I trust none of them - none.

Belinda said...

I am not convinced that there are no nicotine receptors in the brain .. surely there are parts of the brain that respond to nicotine specifically, and it is these parts that Champix aims to block.

There are people out there who are not sent daft by Champix, even if they don't succeed in giving up smoking. Whatever has a bad effect on some people doesn't affect everyone that takes it – although I still think it's too dangerous to be part of a recognised treatment package.

I think these bastards will try and do what they can get away with, but the point is to fight them, not just list the things they are going to inflict on the population. I'm not convinced they would get away with vaccinating kids against smoking.

Anonymous said...

'Currently stop smoking services are evaluated on the percentage of 4-week quitters, but around three-quarters relapse after this date.'

Which suggests that 25% become permanently non smoking after 4 weeks. They wish....

From your link:

This new analysis estimates if stop smoking services were to use nicotine-replacement therapy, varenicline or bupropion drug therapy for over three months, they could potentially increase 12-monthly quit rates by between 10% to 20%.

They love quoting %ages, don't they? But only when it suits them. By my reckoning that be up from about 5% to 6% (at best) at 12 months. At what cost, financial and health?