- because there is increasing anecdotal evidence of bad side effects including suicidal ideation and actual suicide. Court action is pending.
- because what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. There is no safe level of secondary smoke, because of the potential effects of inhaling it. There is no safe level of Champix either, because it can lead to terrifying symptoms and behaviour changes that have proved fatal to people taking Champix and their loved ones.
- because there is no reason to fund smoking cessation, certainly not on the scale that it is currently being funded Wanting to smoke is a state of mind, not an illness.
Sunday, 10 July 2011
Welsh Government awaits guidance from MHRA about whether to continue recommending Champix
The Welsh Government has acknowledged unease about funding Champix following reports of cardiac incidents in people taking it. It is awaiting advice from the MHRA. The study claiming that Champix was responsible for an increased risk of heart trouble found only a small elevated risk. I hope that the Scottish Government will follow suit – not specifically because of the heart attack risk, but for other reasons:
It is telling that heart problems can make authorities act when the other symptoms have not seemed to worry them. “We are talking about a fairly unhealthy section of the population anyway . . . one in two will die because of smoking," famously said Ailsa Rutter of Smoke Free North East – a shocking equation of long-term morbidity in middle or even old age with the traumatic consequences that smokers have experienced often within weeks of starting a course of Champix – by no means universally experienced in either case.
Reports of the success of Champix as a quitting aid are quite possibly exaggerated.