Facts and Myths about Champix

Champix is a clinically-proven and reliable stop smoking aid that does not rely on nicotine. Instead, it changes the way you processes cravings and reduces the feeling of reward you get after smoking. These factors combined make it much easier to quit for good. Champix is a prescription medicine and the course lasts twelve weeks. You are much more likely to quit smoking with the help of Champix that simply deciding to stop without support.

Champix is widely prescribed but there are some misconceptions. Here are some facts and myth surrounding Champix and smoking.

You can quit smoking cold turkey

You can quit smoking by going ‘cold turkey’. This means simply stopping without any nicotine replacement therapy or prescription medicines. It is possible but it is very difficult because cravings are difficult to beat. Going cold turkey often results in a relapse. It’s thought only three out of hundred quitters manage to quit for good this way.

You are more likely to quit if you have a plan and support in place. Champix and nicotine replacement therapies boost your chances.

You will put on weight when you quit

It’s not certain that you’ll put on weight when you quit smoking, but many people do. It’s thought on average quitters gain eleven pounds in the year they stop smoking.

The reasons are:

  • Smoking suppresses your appetite, so you eat more when you quit.
  • Smoking speeds up your metabolism instructing your body burn more calories. You need less food when you quit. Continuing to eat the same amount means you’ll put on weight.
  • Food tastes better when you quit. Toxic smoke chemicals lessen your sense of smell and taste. When you can properly taste food you may overeat.
  • People use food as a replacement for smoking. Trying to beat their cravings with food instead. Food is a distraction technique.
  • The hand to mouth action of smoking is difficult to disassociate.

You can prevent weight gain by exercising regularly. This keeps your metabolism high so you burn more calories. It’s also a great distraction, stress reliever and releases the natural feel good hormones that counteract the difficulty of fighting your cravings.

Keep a supply of healthy snack foods so you can eat without piling on calories. Nuts, dried fruits, vegetable sticks, fruit and low-fat dairy such as yogurts are ideal.

Snacks can help with the hand to mouth action that quitters miss. Eat smaller helpings of food and wait 20 minutes before having any more. Eat regular, small portion so you don’t get a chance to feel hungry. Starving yourself and then eating too much will result in weight gain. Eat your food slowly without the distraction of a television or the internet. This gives your body time to feel full.

If you are using medicines take them correctly, on time and according to the instructions.

If you put on some weight as you quit smoking, deal with it once you have stopped. Dieting and quitting cigarettes together puts you under a lot of pressure. Deal with one aspect at a time.

It will cost a lot to quit

Quitting needn’t cost a lot of money. Prescription medicines currently cost £8.40 an item and the Stop Smoking Service is free to use.

The real cost lies in continuing to smoke. If you smoke five cigarettes a day you’ll spend over £500 a year on smoking, along with the extra dental, cold and flu and cosmetic costs you pay out to treat smoking-related damage. A packet of cigarettes costs as much as one prescription.

If you have a prescription for nicotine replacement therapy the cost is lower than buying directly from the pharmacy.

It’s important to ensure you take the whole course of any stop smoking medicines otherwise you may relapse and end up paying for another course of treatment.

I can’t use NRT because I’ve had a heart attack

If you’ve had a heart attack, stroke or arrhythmia speak to your doctor before taking any nicotine replacement therapies (NRT). It is usually safe to use them, but nicotine can increase your heart rate and blood pressure. Your doctor will decide if you can safely take NRTs.

Smoking damages your heart. If you’ve had a heart attack and continue to smoke you are putting yourself in danger. Chemicals in cigarette smoke damage coronary arteries (the arteries that carry blood to the heart). When they are damaged this leads to coronary heart disease – a buildup of blood blocking fatty material in the arteries.

Blocked arteries prevent enough blood making it through to your heart. An early sign of coronary heart disease is angina (chest pain).

Prescription medicines should be used with caution in heart patients. It’s not impossible to use Champix if you’ve had a stroke or heart attack, but your doctor may recommend you take a lower dose and take special care.

Continuing to smoke damages your body to a greater extent than nicotine replacement therapies may. It’s essential to stop smoking to lengthen your life.

You can only use one form of smoking cessation at a time

If you chose to use nicotine withdrawal therapies then combining them can be a good way to quit smoking. Using a patch for background craving relief and an inhaler or nasal spray to deal with sudden strong cravings can increase your chances of success.

Support services should always be used in combination with other methods. Advice, encouragement and information will boost your chances of quitting cigarettes for good.

You shouldn’t use nicotine replacement therapy with Champix as they work in different ways. Champix reduces nicotine cravings and blocks reward sensations, nicotine replacement therapies gradually decrease your reliance. Using them together will not bring any benefits as they are at cross purposes.