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Can you buy generic Champix (varenicline)?

Champix

Not yet. Champix is the only brand name of the drug varenicline currently available in the UK or the EU. Champix was patented in 2006, and remains under patent until September 2021 in the UK/EU – in the USA it is patented until 2020 under the brand name of Chantix, so it cannot be legally sold until the patent expires.

The active medical ingredient in Champix is called varenicline. Varenicline is the generic name of the product.

Champix is prescription-only medicine.

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What happens to your body when you stop smoking?

young woman smoking cigaretteMany people appear to be utterly determined to give up smoking, but when it comes time to do so, it soon becomes apparent just how addictive the nicotine in cigarettes really is. 70% of smokers say they want to stop but feel hopeless about their chances of success. It has even been claimed that nicotine is more addictive than heroin, and although the evidence to support that claim is inconclusive, it can be agreed that nicotine is a highly addictive drug.

According to the NHS, nicotine affects the levels of dopamine and noradrenaline in the brain, creating the enjoyable “nicotine rush” within just seconds of inhaling. The brain then becomes used to the nicotine and develops a tolerance for it, therefore requiring more to achieve the same results. Read in full

Why are nicotine replacement products so expensive?

nicotine replacement therapyCost is a big factor in buying cigarettes, but it can also be a factor when it comes to stopping smoking. Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is expensive, and many who are desperate to move past those strong nicotine cravings wonder why that is.

Nicotine replacement therapy comes in different forms, including:

  • Patches
  • Gum
  • Nasal or mouth spray
  • Lozenges
  • Tablets

They work by releasing nicotine into the body to decrease cravings for the nicotine normally consumed by smoking. By providing the system with a low, steady dose of nicotine, these nicotine replacement treatments reduce the need to smoke and allow would-be quitters to avoid the carcinogenic tar, carbon monoxide and chemicals found in cigarette smoke.

Aside from being addictive, nicotine is not considered dangerous when taken for a short period of time. It is the other chemicals found in cigarette smoke that cause heart and lung diseases.

Nevertheless, when made available in these preparations, the price of nicotine seems to skyrocket. Prohibitive prices can make it feel harder to stop smoking, so why are NRT products so expensive? Read in full

Anxiety and smoking: a nervous reality

anxiety smokingThe effects of smoking on physical health are well documented. In fact, they are so widely accepted that they are printed on every packet of cigarettes. However the effects of smoking on mental health are still a bit nebulous. Most people do not realise how tobacco affects their psychological well-being. A recent study published by the British Journal of Medicine revealed that most people believe smoking helps them cope with anxiety and stress. This is of course a myth: in truth smoking could really be contributing to anxiety and other mental health issues.

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a feeling of fear, tension, unease and nervousness. We all suffer from anxiety from time to time; it is just part of the human condition. But when this feeling becomes disproportionate with the situation causing it, or if it is constant, ever present or begins to interfere with your day to day activities, then it has become a problem.

When it comes to smoking, withdrawal symptoms are a common cause of anxiety. The nagging temptation that comes with wanting a cigarette is actually a form of anxiety. In people who smoke regularly this feeling comes multiple times a day. It is a haunting and disturbing sensation that can obstruct completion of their regular activities. In fact, satisfying this craving in order to stave off anxiety can become part of the smoker’s daily routine.

If you are smoking, there is a good chance you are also not breathing properly. Smokers tend to breathe more quickly and less efficiently, and this can lead to hyperventilation and even a panic attack. Read in full

Champix: your ally in the fight against smoking

champix smokingQuitting smoking is one of the best but most difficult decisions one can make. There are tangible health benefits, your senses will become sharper, your heart will be healthier and your lungs will start repairing themselves. However, as any former smoker can tell you, this process is far from a walk in the park. Nicotine cravings can be intense. They can lead to anxiety, frustration, drowsiness and an increase in appetite. It is a real challenge but there are ways to pass these hurdles and continue on your way to a longer and healthier life. Read in full

Quitting smoking: a little help from my friends

help friends quit smokingBeating a stubborn addiction is one of the most difficult things you can do. Your body develops a need for a substance, even if it’s harmful, and the cravings can be a painful and anxiety inducing affair.

Tobacco and cigarettes are a particularly difficult habit to get rid of as tobacco is legal and you can find it in most shops. Sometimes even stopping for some milk on the way home can be a problem for someone who is trying to quit. The cigarette counter is right there, and the temptation can be almost unbearable.

With cigarettes so readily available it may seem like the world is against the person trying to quit. This is the main reason why support from the people closest to the smoker is important. Read in full

What type of smoker are you?

type of smokerIt’s a well-known, widely accepted and statistically-proven fact that smoking is bad for you. It can cause high blood pressure, asthma, emphysema, coronary thrombosis, rapidly ages your skin, and can cause various types of cancer.

In the UK, smoking causes more than 100,000 deaths each year and has the long-term effect of causing many more.  On average, one cigarette shortens a smoker’s life by about 11 minutes and can reduce the average life expectancy by approximately seven to eight years. Read in full