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Champix 1Mg Tablet

Champix 1Mg Tablet

Manufacturer: Pfizer Ltd
Medicine composition: Varenicline
Prescription vs.OTC: Prescription by Doctor required

Champix 1Mg Tablet, a nicotinic receptor partial agonist is used for treating nicotine addiction. It works by weakly stimulating the nicotine receptors than nicotine does itself. Being a partial agonist, it decreases the cravings as well as the pleasurable effects of cigarettes and other tobacco products and hence helps a patient to quit smoking.

Champix 1Mg Tablet is available as capsular biconvex, white or blue film-coated tablets in two strengths i.e. 0.5 mg and 1 mg for oral administration. The preferable dosage of Champix 1Mg Tablet is 1 mg twice daily and the course of medication follows 1 week titration. From day1 to day 3, 0.5 mg once daily, should be taken. From day4 to day day 7, 0.5 mg twice daily and from day 8 to the last day of treatment, 1 mg twice daily. Champix 1Mg Tablet should be taken for at least 12 weeks. For those who have successfully completed the course of medication, an additional 12 weeks of treatment is advisable to help in long term abstinence.

Side effects of Champix 1Mg Tablet include neuropsychiatric symptoms and suicidality, somnambulism, angioedema and hypersensitivity reactions, serious skin reactions, interaction with alcohol, accidental injury, seizures, cardiovascular events behaviour changes, laboured breathing, anxiety or restlessness and others.

smoking addiction
In addition to its intended effect, Champix 1Mg Tablet may cause some unwanted effects too. In such cases, you must seek medical attention immediately. This is not an exhaustive list of side effects. Please inform your doctor if you experience any adverse reaction to the medication.
Insomnia (difficulty in sleeping)
Abnormal dreams
Is It safe with alcohol?
Champix 1mg tablet may cause excessive drowsiness and calmness with alcohol.
Are there any pregnancy warnings?
Champix 1mg tablet may be unsafe to use during pregnancy.
Animal studies have shown adverse effects on the foetus, however, there are limited human studies. The benefits from use in pregnant women may be acceptable despite the risk. Please consult your doctor.
Are there any breast-feeding warnings?
Unknown. Human and animal studies are not available. Please consult your doctor.
Is it safe to drive while on this medicine?
Caution is advised when driving or operating machinery.
Does this affect kidney function?
There is no interaction between renal impairment and consuming this drug. So dose alteration is not needed.
Does this affect liver function?
There is no data available. Please consult doctor before consuming the drug.
Below is the list of medicines, which have the same composition, strength and form as Champix 1Mg Tablet, and hence can be used as its substitute.
Are there any missed dose instructions?
If you miss a dose of Varenicline, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular schedule. Do not double the dose.
Whenever you take more than one medicine, or mix it with certain foods or beverages, you're at risk of a drug interaction.

Popular Questions & Answers

Pulmonologist/Chest specialist - No Smoking question. I am 34 year old male. I smoke around 10-15 cigarettes in a day. I took Champix 1 mg a day and quit smoking but after stopping the medicine smoking starts again. Now I am taking 1 mg twice a day. What is the normal dosage. Should it be 1 mg once a day or twice a day? How long should be the duration of treatment?

C.S.C, D.C.H, M.B.B.S
General Physician,
Start taking the tablets one week before the quit date. The aim is to build up the dose so your body gets used to the medicine before the quit date. The usual advice is to start with 0.5 mg daily for the first three days. Then 0.5 mg twice daily on days four to seven. Then, 1 mg twice daily for 11 weeks. Take each dose with a full glass of water, preferably after eating. So, ideally, after breakfast and after your evening meal.
5 people found this helpful

I am cigarette smoker I take 12 to 16 cigarettes a day I fill dipress from last 6 month and cuff problem from last 2 year some time I can't walk or run longer-term I fill weakness and long birthing Last year I try to quiet from smoking I take" champix" starter courses from my doctor sougess but after complete course I can't control on smoking habits please suggest me proper way to quiet from this bed habits.

MBBS, MD Psychiatry, DNB Psychiatry
Psychiatrist, Nagpur
It takes a lot of motivation on your part to quit smoking. The treatment includes - treatment for symptoms that occur due to stopping smoking like irritability, depression, constipation, sleep problems etc. - treatment of craving with appropriate dose of replacements - treatment of associated diseases like respiratory problems as in your case. - regular follow ups contact me online with a complete history of your smoking pattern and lifestyle with a brief history of associated complaints if any so that we can work out the best possible management for you. Good luck, take care.

I am trying to quit smoking, but its very hard to quit smoking, I am getting head ache and my fingers are shivering, can you please advise me to get rid of smoking.

Psychiatrist, Jamshedpur
I am trying to quit smoking, but its very hard to quit smoking, I am getting head ache and my fingers are shivering, ...
Use nicotine replacement in form of either lozenges or nicotine patch for few weeks, gradually taper it off, you can use anti craving drugs like bupropion or champix later on to reduce your desire to smoke. You should consult a psychiatrist for guidance and counselling.
4 people found this helpful

I have been smoking since last 6 years 7- 8 per day. I tied to quit many times by taking champix but failed. I have no cough or other problems but I suffered from pneumonia 2 times since I started smoking. Will I suffer from cancer or not. For quitting it what medication should I take.

BASM, MD, MS (Counseling & Psychotherapy), MSc - Psychology, Certificate in Clinical psychology of children and Young People, Certificate in Psychological First Aid, Certificate in Positive Psychology
Psychologist, Palakkad
Dear lybrate-user, Tobacco is addictive. Cigarette also contains 4000+ carcinogenic chemicals other than nicotine. Nicotine and other chemicals can cause cancer of different types and areas. Throat cancer, mouth cancer, lung cancer, stomach cancer and brain problems can result. Over and above smoking may also increase the risk factor of heart attack and brain stroke. Please quit smoking. The best method is to leave it and continue with your will power. There are other methods like Nicotine Replacement therapy and pharmacotherapy combined. If you?re ready to stop smoking and willing to get the support you need, you can recover from nicotine addiction and abuse abuse?no matter how bad the addiction or how powerless you feel. The first step in treating nicotine addiction is accepting that you have a problem. Confronting an addiction and accepting responsibility for your actions isn?t easy. But it?s a necessary step on the road to treatment and recovery. You should then consult a psychiatrist / psychologist who fill follow this treatment. 1. Detoxification using medicines. 2. Behavior modification with the help of therapies. 3. Counseling. 4. Medication to sustain and 5. Long term support. These given steps are essential for any addict to get effectively rid of smoking. Therefore, you need to stick to the treatment plan and cooperate with your psychiatrist / psychologist. Mind power building therapy, motivation therapy etc should help you doing so. I suggest you to consult a psychologist or de addiction therapist. Take care.
3 people found this helpful

I have smoking habit for the last 20 years and I want to quit but don't know how to do it? If you can help it will be great.

MD - Psychiatry, MBBS
Psychiatrist, Delhi
Smoking is a common problem but is easy to quit. A psychiatric assessment followed by treatment with medicines including nicotine replacement therapy alongwith varencline (champix) alongwith self help tips and counselling is all you need to leave smoking in 3 weeks. But perseverence with treatment is the key to permanent relief from thr problem. Get going. Best of luck.

Popular Health Tips

Ways On How To Fight Back Addiction!

MD - General Medicine
Sexologist, Delhi
Ways On How To Fight Back Addiction!

Addiction is a brain ailment that is characterized by irrational engagement in satisfying stimuli despite of argumentative circumstances. Addiction is an ailment where the brain's Reward system malfunctions and only responds to persistently greater level of addictive stimulus like morphine, cocaine, etc.

There are many varieties of addiction like alcoholism, gambling, sexual intercourse, etc. These force a person to isolate himself from the entire society and indulge in his or her addictions. If they are not supplied with the drugs they may react violently and may even die.

Drug treatment is a type of treatment which is intended to aid the abused users stop the uncontrollable usage of drugs and protect them from the adverse effects of it. This treatment has a variety of forms and takes a lot of time as the drug abuse is a chronic disorder and cannot be treated in a short term. Below mentioned are some of the ways by which you can fight back addiction effectively.

• For individuals who are addicted to drugs such as opium and nicotine (Tobacco) are treated with drugs such as methadone, naltrexone for opium addicted individuals and with varenicline and bupropion for tobacco addicted people.

• For individuals who are greatly addicted to alcohol Disulfiram and acamprosate are the best medications that are available.

• Many individuals are addicted to the prescribed drugs and their treatment is the same as that of drug abuse that affects the brain. Like the medicine buprenorphine, can be used to treat both heroin obsession and addiction to medications for opium pain treatment.

Behavioral treatments may help people to take part in drug abuse therapies and teach ways to cope up with drugs and help them to against relapse if it occurs.

• Group therapies are the latest form of treatment that is advised to the addicted individuals. Group therapies provide the individual social support and help in enforcing behavioral incidents that will help the lead a non-drug-using lifestyle.

• Lastly individuals who are greatly addicted to alcohol or drug abuse or any kind of addictions suffer from depression and also face social, legal and family problems.


Tobacco Cessation - How It Is Good For You?

MBBS, MD - Psychiatry
Psychiatrist, Delhi
Tobacco Cessation - How It Is Good For You?

Benefits of tobacco cessation are many. You reduce your risk for hypertension, cancer, cardio-vascular diseases and other serious chronic diseases substantially, at whatever age you quit your nicotine habit. The earlier you quit, the more you benefit. If you quit before the age of 50, you bring down your risk of dying from smoking-related diseases by 50%. But if you’ve crossed 60, suffer from heart disease and/or hyper tension, you can manage these diseases better through tobacco cessation. 

Here are a few other health benefits of stopping tobacco use: 

  1. Reduces risks of heart disease, cancer especially lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) 
  2. Cuts down risks of Impotence due to erectile dysfunction in men, and fertility problems in women 
  3. Optic neuropathy affects the optic nerve that conducts visual signals from the eyes to the brain 
  4. Cataract Macular degeneration is breakdown of the tissue at the back of the eye 
  5. Psoriasis 
  6. Gum disease
  7. Losing teeth early 
  8. Osteoporosis or spongy, thin bones 
  9. Complications in pregnancy i.e. women who smoke have more complications during pregnancy and have low-birth babies. 

Your food and drink also tastes better once you kick the tobacco habit. 

So, how can you stop smoking? Are there any medications and strategies available? The answer is a definite ‘Yes’. Tobacco cessation has been honed into an art these days. 

  1. Clinics: There are tobacco cessation clinics that help you with tobacco cessation. These are manned by psychiatrists, who can provide detailed information, encouragement, and tips to stop smoking. 
  2. Medications: You can use many medicines while you’re trying to stop smoking. This increases your chance of quitting and including nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). NRT can be in the form of gums, sprays, patches, tablets, lozenges, and inhalers. NRT is even available without a prescription. Medicines called bupropion and varenicline also very useful. 
  3. Electronic cigarettes: Electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes are designed to look and feel like normal cigarettes. These contain a heating element that vapourises a solution and looks like smoke. Some may also contain low levels of nicotine. There is currently controversial evidence on their efficacy. 
  4. Counselling and behavioural therapy: They are both very effective too, especially if you are being guided by a cessation expert. He or she can help you with a personalised quit plan, including ways to cope with nicotine withdrawal. Apart from this, online support is also available for those who don’t have the time or money to engage in personal, face-to-face counseling. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a psychiatrist.
4486 people found this helpful

How to quit smoking

Diploma in Family Medicine, M.Sc - Psychotherapy
Sexologist, Pune


Whether you’re a teen smoker or a lifetime pack–a–day smoker, quitting can be tough. But the more you learn about your options and prepare for quitting, the easier the process will be. With the right game plan tailored to your needs, you can break the addiction, manage your cravings, and join the millions of people who have kicked the habit for good.

Why quitting smoking can seem so hard

Smoking tobacco is both a physical addiction and a psychological habit. The nicotine from cigarettes provides a temporary, and addictive, high. Eliminating that regular fix of nicotine will cause your body to experience physical withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Because of nicotine’s “feel good” effect on the brain, you may also have become accustomed to smoking as a way of coping with stress, depression, anxiety, or even boredom.

At the same time, the act of smoking is ingrained as a daily ritual. It may be an automatic response for you to smoke a cigarette with your morning coffee, while taking a break from work or school, or during your commute home at the end of a long day. Perhaps friends, family members, and colleagues smoke, and it has become part of the way you relate with them.

To successfully quit smoking, you’ll need to address both the addiction and the habits and routines that go along with it.

Your Personal Stop Smoking Plan

While some smokers successfully quit by going cold turkey, most people do better with a plan to keep themselves on track. A good plan addresses both the short–term challenge of quitting smoking and the long–term challenge of preventing relapse. It should also be tailored to your specific needs and smoking habits.

Questions to ask yourself

Take the time to think of what kind of smoker you are, which moments of your life call for a cigarette, and why. This will help you to identify which tips, techniques or therapies may be most beneficial for you.

  • Do you feel the need to smoke at every meal?
  • Are you more of a social smoker?
  • Is it a very bad addiction (more than a pack a day)? Or would a simple nicotine patch do the job?
  • Do you reach for cigarettes when you're feeling stressed or down?
  • Are there certain activities, places, or people you associate with smoking?
  • Is your cigarette smoking linked to other addictions, such as alcohol or gambling?
  • Are you open to hypnotherapy and/or acupuncture?
  • Are you someone who is open to talking about your addiction with a therapist or counselor?
  • Are you interested in getting into a fitness program?

Start your stop smoking plan with START

S = Set a quit date.

Choose a date within the next 2 weeks, so you have enough time to prepare without losing your motivation to quit. If you mainly smoke at work, quit on the weekend, so you have a few days to adjust to the change.

T = Tell family, friends, and co-workers that you plan to quit.

Let your friends and family in on your plan to quit smoking and tell them you need their support and encouragement to stop. Look for a quit buddy who wants to stop smoking as well. You can help each other get through the rough times.

A = Anticipate and plan for the challenges you'll face while quitting.

Most people who begin smoking again do so within the first 3 months. You can help yourself make it through by preparing ahead for common challenges, such as nicotine withdrawal and cigarette cravings.

R = Remove cigarettes and other tobacco products from your home, car, and work.

Throw away all of your cigarettes (no emergency pack!), lighters, ashtrays, and matches. Wash your clothes and freshen up anything that smells like smoke. Shampoo your car, clean your drapes and carpet, and steam your furniture.

T = Talk to your doctor about getting help to quit.

Your doctor can prescribe medication to help with withdrawal and suggest other alternatives. If you can't see a doctor, you can get many products over the counter at your local pharmacy or grocery store, including the nicotine patch, nicotine lozenges, and nicotine gum.

How to quit smoking: Identify your smoking triggers

One of the best things you can do to help yourself quit is to identify the things that make you want to smoke, including specific situations, activities, feelings, and people.

Keep a craving journal

A craving journal can help you zero in on your patterns and triggers. For a week or so leading up to your quit date, keep a log of your smoking. Note the moments in each day when you crave a cigarette:

  • What time was it?
  • How intense was the craving (on a scale of 1-10)?
  • What were you doing?
  • Who were you with?
  • How were you feeling?
  • How did you feel after smoking?

Do you smoke to relieve unpleasant or overwhelming feelings?

Managing unpleasant feelings such as stress, depression, loneliness, fear, and anxiety are some of the most common reasons why adults smoke. When you have a bad day, it can seem like cigarettes are your only friend. As much comfort as cigarettes provide, though, it's important to remember that there are healthier (and more effective) ways to keep unpleasant feelings in check. These may include exercising, meditating, using sensory relaxation strategies, and practicing simple breathing exercises.

For many people, an important aspect of quitting smoking is to find alternate ways to handle these difficult feelings without smoking. Even when cigarettes are no longer a part of your life, the painful and unpleasant feelings that may have prompted you to smoke in the past will still remain. So, it's worth spending some time thinking about the different ways you intend to deal with stressful situations and the daily irritations that would normally have you reaching for a cigarette.

Tips for avoiding common smoking triggers

  • Alcohol. Many people have a habit of smoking when they drink. TIP: switch to non-alcoholic drinks or drink only in places where smoking inside is prohibited. Alternatively, try snacking on nuts and chips, or chewing on a straw or cocktail stick.
  • Other smokers. When friends, family, and co-workers smoke around you, it is doubly difficult to quit or avoid relapse. TIP: Your social circles need to know that you are changing your habits so talk about your decision to quit. Let them know they won't be able to smoke when you're in the car with them or taking a coffee break together. In your workplace, don't take all your coffee breaks with smokers only, do something else instead, or find non-smokers to have your breaks with.
  • End of a meal. For some smokers, ending a meal means lighting up, and the prospect of giving that up may appear daunting. TIP: replace that moment after a meal with something such as a piece of fruit, a (healthy) dessert, a square of chocolate, or a stick of gum.

How to quit smoking: Coping with nicotine withdrawal symptoms

Once you stop smoking, you will experience a number of physical symptoms as your body withdraws from nicotine. Nicotine withdrawal begins quickly, usually starting within thirty minutes to an hour of the last cigarette and peaking about 2 to 3 days later. Withdrawal symptoms can last for a few days to several weeks and differ from person to person.

Common nicotine withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Cigarette cravings
  • Irritability, frustration, or anger
  • Anxiety or nervousness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Restlessness
  • Increased appetite
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Tremors
  • Increased coughing
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation or upset stomach
  • Depression
  • Decreased heart rate

Unpleasant as these withdrawal symptoms may be, they are only temporary. They will get better in a few weeks as the toxins are flushed from your body. In the meantime, let your friends and family know that you won't be your usual self and ask for their understanding.

Coping with Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms




Craving for cigarette

Most intense during first week but can linger for months

Wait out the urge; distract yourself; take a brisk walk.

Irritability, impatience

Two to four weeks

Exercise; take hot baths; use relaxation techniques; avoid caffeine.


Two to four weeks

Avoid caffeine after 6 p.m.; use relaxation techniques; exercise; plan activities (such as reading) when sleep is difficult.


Two to four weeks

Take naps; do not push yourself.

Lack of concentration

A few weeks

Reduce workload; avoid stress.


Several weeks or longer

Drink water or low-calorie drinks; eat low-calorie snacks.

Coughing, dry throat, nasal drip

Several weeks

Drink plenty of fluids; use cough drops.

Constipation, gas

One to two weeks

Drink plenty of fluids; add fiber to diet; exercise.

Adapted with permission from Overcoming Addiction: Paths Toward Recovery, a special health report from Harvard Health Publications.

How to quit smoking: Manage cigarette cravings

Avoiding smoking triggers will help reduce the urge to smoke, but you can't avoid cravings entirely. But cigarette cravings don't last long, so if you're tempted to light up, remember that the craving will pass and try to wait it out. It also helps to be prepared in advance. Having a plan to cope with cravings will help keep you from giving in.

  • Distract yourself. Do the dishes, turn on the TV, take a shower, or call a friend. The activity doesn't matter as long as it gets your mind off of smoking.
  • Remind yourself why you quit. Focus on your reasons for quitting, including the health benefits, improved appearance, money you're saving, and enhanced self-esteem.
  • Get out of a tempting situation. Where you are or what you're doing may be triggering the craving. If so, a change of scenery can make all the difference.
  • Reward yourself. Reinforce your victories. Whenever you triumph over a craving, give yourself a reward to keep yourself motivated.

Coping with Cigarette Cravings in the Moment

Find an oral substitute

Keep other things around to pop in your mouth when cravings hit. Good choices include mints, hard candy, carrot or celery sticks, gum, and sunflower seeds.

Keep your mind busy

Read a book or magazine, listen to some music you love, do a crossword or Sudoku puzzle, or play an online game.

Keep your hands busy

Squeeze balls, pencils, or paper clips are good substitutes to satisfy that need for tactile stimulation.

Brush your teeth

The just–brushed, clean feeling can help get rid of cigarette cravings.

Drink water

Slowly drink a large, cold glass of water. Not only will it help the craving pass, but staying hydrated helps minimize the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal.

Light something else

Instead of lighting a cigarette, light a candle or some incense.

Get active

Go for a walk, do some jumping jacks or pushups, try some yoga stretches, or run around the block.

Try to relax

Do something that calms you down, such as taking a warm bath, meditating, reading a book, or practicing deep breathing exercises.

Preventing weight gain after you’ve stopped smoking

Weight gain is a common concern when quitting smoking. Some people even use it as a reason not to quit. While it's true that many smokers put on weight within six months of stopping smoking, the gain is usually small—about 5 pounds on average—and that initial gain decreases over time. It’s also important to remember that carrying a few extra pounds for a few months won’t hurt your heart as much as smoking will. Of course, gaining weight is NOT inevitable when you quit smoking.

Smoking acts as an appetite suppressant. It also dampens your sense of smell and taste. So after you quit, your appetite will likely increase and food will seem more appealing. Weight gain can also happen if you replace the oral gratification of smoking with eating, especially if you turn to unhealthy comfort foods. So it's important to find other, healthy ways to deal with stress and other unpleasant feelings rather than mindless, emotional eating.

  • Nurture yourself. Instead of turning to cigarettes or food when you feel stressed, anxious, or depressed, learn new ways to soothe yourself.
  • Eat healthy, varied meals. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and limit your fat intake. Seek out low-fat options that look appetizing to you and you will actually eat. Avoid alcohol, sugary sodas, and other high-calorie drinks.
  • Drink lots of water. Drinking lots of water—at least six to eight 8 oz. glasses—will help you feel full and keep you from eating when you're not hungry. Water will also help flush toxins from your body.
  • Take a walk. Walking is a great form of exercise. Not only will it help you burn calories and keep the weight off, but it will also help alleviate feelings of stress and frustration that accompany smoking withdrawal.
  • Snack on low-calorie or calorie-free foods. Good choices include sugar-free gum, carrot and celery sticks, sliced bell peppers or jicama, or sugar-free hard candies.

Medication and therapy to help you quit smoking

There are many different methods that have successfully helped people to quit smoking, including:

  • Quitting smoking cold turkey.
  • Systematically decreasing the number of cigarettes you smoke.
  • Reducing your intake of nicotine gradually over time.
  • Using nicotine replacement therapy or non-nicotine medications to reduce withdrawal symptoms.
  • Utilizing nicotine support groups.
  • Trying hypnosis, acupuncture, or counseling using cognitive behavioral techniques.

You may be successful with the first method you try. More likely, you’ll have to try a number of different methods or a combination of treatments to find the ones that work best for you.

Medications to help you stop smoking

Smoking cessation medications can ease withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings, and are most effective when used as part of a comprehensive stop smoking program monitored by your physician. Talk to your doctor about your options and whether an anti-smoking medication is right for you. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved options are:

Nicotine replacement therapy. Nicotine replacement therapy involves "replacing" cigarettes with other nicotine substitutes, such as nicotine gum or a nicotine patch. It works by delivering small and steady doses of nicotine into the body to relieve some of the withdrawal symptoms without the tars and poisonous gases found in cigarettes. This type of treatment helps smokers focus on breaking their psychological addiction and makes it easier to concentrate on learning new behaviors and coping skills.

Non-nicotine medication. These medications help you stop smoking by reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms without the use of nicotine. Medications such as bupropion (Zyban) and varenicline (Chantix) are intended for short-term use only.

Alternative therapies to help you stop smoking

There are several things you can do to stop smoking that don’t involve nicotine replacement therapy or prescription medications: Ask your doctor for a referral or see Resources and References below for help finding qualified professionals in each area.

  • Hypnosis A popular option that has produced good results. Forget anything you may have seen from stage hypnotists, hypnosis works by getting you into a deeply relaxed state where you are open to suggestions that strengthen your resolve to quit smoking and increase your negative feelings toward cigarettes.
  • Acupuncture One of the oldest known medical techniques, acupuncture is believed to work by triggering the release of endorphins (natural pain relievers) that allow the body to relax. As a smoking cessation aid, acupuncture can be helpful in managing smoking withdrawal symptoms.
  • Behavioral Therapy Nicotine addiction is related to the habitual behaviors (the “rituals”) involved in smoking. Behavior therapy focuses on learning new coping skills and breaking those habits.
  • Motivational Therapies Self-help books and websites can provide a number of ways to motivate yourself to quit smoking. One well known example is calculating the monetary savings. Some people have been able to find the motivation to quit just by calculating how much money they will save. It may be enough to pay for a summer vacation.

Smokeless or spit tobacco is NOT a healthy alternative to smoking

Smokeless tobacco, otherwise known as spit tobacco, is not a safe alternative to smoking cigarettes. It contains the same addictive chemical, nicotine, contained in cigarettes. In fact, the amount of nicotine absorbed from smokeless tobacco can be 3 to 4 times the amount delivered by a cigarette.

What to do if you slip or relapse

Most people try to quit smoking several times before they kick the habit for good, so don't beat yourself up if you start smoking again. Turn the relapse into a rebound by learning from your mistake. Analyze what happened right before you started smoking again, identify the triggers or trouble spots you ran into, and make a new stop-smoking plan that eliminates them.

It's also important to emphasize the difference between a slip and a relapse. If you slip up and smoke a cigarette, it doesn't mean that you can't get back on the wagon. You can choose to learn from the slip and let it motivate you to try harder or you can use it as an excuse to go back to your smoking habit. But the choice is yours. A slip doesn't have to turn into a full-blown relapse.

I started smoking again, now what?

Having a small setback doesn’t mean you’re a smoker again. Most people try to quit smoking several times before they kick the habit for good. Identify the triggers or trouble spots you ran into and learn from your mistakes.  

  • You’re not a failure if you slip up. It doesn't mean you can't quit for good.
  • Don’t let a slip become a mudslide. Throw out the rest of the pack. It's important to get back on the non-smoking track now.
  • Look back at your quit log and feel good about the time you went without smoking.
  • Find the trigger. Exactly what was it that made you smoke again? Decide how you will cope with that issue the next time it comes up.
  • Learn from your experience. What has been most helpful? What didn’t work? 
  • Are you using a medicine to help you quit? Call your doctor if you start smoking again. Some medicines cannot be used if you are smoking at the same time.
1 person found this helpful

BHARAT JYOTI, MRACGP, INCEPTOR, MD-PhD, MD - Psychiatry, FIPS, Fellow of Academy of General Education (FAGE), DPM, MBBS
Psychiatrist, Bangalore
Pharmacological Treatments to Help Quit Smoking

Why is it so hard to quit smoking?
You have probably heard this before: "Smoking is so bad for you. Why do you do it"

People start smoking for different reasons. They might think it will help calm their nerves, make them look more mature, or maybe at the time it just seemed sort of adventurous. Looking back, it was not the best choice. Many people really want to quit, but why is quitting so hard?

It is hard to quit smoking because the nicotine in cigarettes, cigars, and other tobacco products gets you hooked and keeps you hooked. Most people try as many as three times to quit before they are able to do so. Look at smoking cessation as a process instead of a one-time event. That way, if you do slip, you can focus on what you can do differently to prevent future slips and relapse. Don?t give up?you will get there.

You have probably heard a lot about how smoking is harmful, but here are some positive things you can look forward to when you do quit.

If you quit, you will:

Prolong your life
Improve your health
Feel healthier (Smoking can cause coughing, poor athletic ability, and sore throats.)
Look better (Smoking can cause face wrinkles, stained teeth, and dull skin.)
Improve your sense of taste and smell
Save money (Most smokers spend about $90 a month on cigarettes.)
Smoking increases complications for those who have diabetes.

While smoking can increase your chances of getting diabetes, it can also make managing diabetes more difficult for those who already have it. Smoking-related complications of diabetes could include retinopathy (eye disease), heart disease, stroke, vascular disease, kidney disease, nerve damage, and/or foot problems.

What options do people have?
Some people try quitting on their own before they go to their doctor, but your doctor can be very helpful. He or she may offer tips and suggest medicines, both prescription and over-the-counter, to help you "kick the habit" It is also important to tell your doctor what types of products you might use or are using to quit smoking. The doctor can make sure that suggested products will not interact with other medicines you are already taking. Remember, there is no "magic bullet" when it comes to quitting smoking. Quitting requires persistent effort.

Over-the-Counter Medicines
Nicotine-based medicines
Over-the-counter medicines that contain nicotine can be very helpful in fighting off cravings. These products will not remove all cravings, but you can use them instead of smoking to reduce your nicotine intake gradually and ease off of its addictive effects.

When you give your body a steady dose of nicotine all the time and then stop suddenly, you will have more side effects (withdrawal symptoms) that usually make quitting a lot harder. Withdrawal symptoms include irritability, headache, and the craving to smoke. Go slow and lower the dose gradually with nicotine-based products until you feel you are able to resist the cravings on your own. You will still have cravings, but they will be weaker. It is very important to have some form of social support when you decide to quit, no matter if you use products or not. Support can come from your doctor, counselor, support group, close friend, or a family member.

When considering a nicotine-based product to help you quit, be sure to tell your doctor about any conditions you might have, especially:

Asthma or breathing problems
Heart or blood vessel disease
High blood pressure
Stomach ulcer
Diabetes mellitus
Kidney disease
Liver disease
Overactive thyroid
Pheochromocytoma (PCC)
Over-the-counter treatments are typically used for up to 12 weeks as part of a smoking cessation program.

Additional things to consider when taking nicotine-based medicines

Do not smoke while you are using the nicotine-based medicines. You could risk overdosing on nicotine.
Tell your doctor about any medicines you are taking or any allergies you have.
Do not use the nicotine-based medicines if you are breastfeeding, are pregnant, or think you might be pregnant.
Keep this and all medicines out of the reach of children and pets.
Common brand names of the nicotine patch, gum, and lozenge include:

Nicorelief? (gum)
Nicorette? (gum)
NicoDerm? CQ? (patch)
Commit? (lozenge)
Transdermal nicotine patch
The patch is worn directly on the skin. Nicotine passes through the skin into your bloodstream. Some brands have patches with different strengths so you can gradually reduce your dosage. Nicotine patches are available without a prescription. If you are not sure what kind of patch to use, ask your doctor.

Always follow the instructions on the box, but here are some things to remember when using the nicotine patch:

Patches are supplied in child-resistant pouches; save the pouch for disposal of the patch.
Find a clean, dry part of the skin to apply it. Somewhere on your upper arm or torso usually works best. Try to find an area that has little hair and is without scars, cuts, burns, or rashes.
Right before applying the patch, wash your hands and the skin area with plain soap and water and dry completely. Avoid using any soap, lotion, hand cream, tanning lotion or oil, bath oil or insect repellent that contains aloe, lanolin or glycerin as a moisturizer since these agents can leave a moisturizing film on your skin, which can potentially interfere with the adherence of the patch.
When you have finished applying or removing the patch, wash your hands with water only.
Do not try to adjust the dosage by cutting the patch into sections.
Leave the patch on, even while bathing or swimming. If it falls off, do not try to re-apply it. Use a new one
Remove the patch according to the instructions on the box (usually after 16 to 24 hours).
Dispose by folding sticky ends of the patch together and putting in pouch.
When applying a new patch, choose a different place than before. Do not use the patch in the same place for at least a week.
Do not leave the patch on for longer than directed.
Remove the patch if you are going to do rigorous exercise. This might cause more nicotine to pass into your bloodstream.
If you are unsure how to use the product, be sure to ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain.
Remove the patch if you are having a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. Nicotine patches contain aluminum.
If you have vivid dreams or other sleep disturbances, try removing the patch at bedtime and applying a new one in the morning.
Common side effects of the nicotine patch:

Increased appetite
Mild headache
Irritation at the site of the patch, including itching, burning, or redness
There are other common or more serious side effects. Please read the information that comes with the product carefully, and be sure to contact your doctor if you have any questions.

Nicotine gum
Nicotine gum, like the patch, is a systemic way to receive nicotine. This means that the nicotine in the gum passes from the lining of your mouth right into your bloodstream. Like the patch, you will decrease the dosage during the recommended time (usually 12 weeks or sooner) if you are able to resist cravings on your own. Nicotine gum is sold without a prescription.

Always follow the instructions on the box, but here are some things to remember when using nicotine gum:

Use nicotine gum only when you feel the urge to smoke.
Slowly chew the gum until you begin to taste it or feel a tingling sensation in your mouth. Then stop chewing and park it between your cheek and gum. This helps release the nicotine. When the taste or tingling is almost gone, repeat these two steps for 30 minutes.
Use only one piece at a time.
Do not drink beverages (e.G, soft drinks, tea, coffee, and fruit juices) or eat food 15 minutes before or while chewing the gum.
Gradually decrease the number of pieces of gum you chew per day, until you reach three to six pieces per day. Some people can do this in less than 12 weeks. Do not chew more than twenty-four pieces in 1 day.
Try to have the nicotine gum handy at all times. You might try hard candy or using regular gum, if the nicotine gum is not available.
Nicotine gum can be difficult to use if you have dentures.
Common side effects of nicotine gum:

Belching (burping), gas, or heartburn
Increased appetite
Mild headache
Watery mouth
Jaw or muscle pain or fatigue
Sore mouth or throat
There are other common or more serious side effects. Please read the information that comes with the product carefully and be sure to contact your doctor if you have any questions.

Nicotine lozenge
A nicotine lozenge, like the patch and gum, is a systemic way to receive nicotine. This means that the nicotine in the lozenge passes from the lining of your mouth right into your bloodstream.

Always follow the instructions on the box, but here are a few things to remember when using the nicotine lozenges:

Place the lozenge in your mouth; wait until it dissolves completely; and move it around from time to time without chewing. It takes around 20 to 30 minutes to dissolve.
Do not take more than one lozenge at a time or continuously use one lozenge after the other, this can cause hiccups, heartburn, or nausea.
Do not eat or drink 15 minutes prior to, during, or after use.
Do not use more than five lozenges in 6 hours or more than twenty lozenges in 24 hours.
Prescription Medicines
Nicotine nasal spray
Nicotine that can help you stop smoking also comes in the form of a nasal spray, available only by prescription. Like the patch and the gum, the amount taken is gradually decreased during a period of 12 weeks. It is to be used, like the gum and the patch, as part of a program that also includes support, education, and counseling.

Nicotrol NS? is one brand of nicotine nasal spray.

Always follow the instructions on the prescription label. Here are some other things to remember when using nicotine nasal spray:

Blow your nose prior to use.
You may gradually reduce your dose of nasal spray by skipping doses or using only half the usual amount.
Writing down the time you take the nasal spray and how much you take might be very useful when reducing your dose.
Common side effects of nicotine nasal spray:

Back pain
Indigestion or nausea
Runny nose
Watery eyes
A burning feeling in the back of the throat or nose
The nicotine nasal spray is not recommended for people with reactive airway disorders such as asthma. In addition, caution is urged in patients with chronic nasal disorders.

There are other common or more serious side effects. Please read the information that comes with the product carefully and be sure to contact your doctor if you have any questions.

Nicotine inhalant
A nicotine inhalant?available only by prescription?used for up to 6 months (initial treatment period up to 12 weeks followed by gradual reduction period of up to 12 weeks) can be part of a smoking cessation program. When the inhaler is used, nicotine passes from the lining of the mouth and throat (not the lungs) into the bloodstream. Like other nicotine products, you will decrease the dosage during the recommended time (usually several weeks) or until you are able to resist cravings on your own.

Nicotrol Inhaler? is one brand name of nicotine inhalant.

Always follow the instructions on the box, but here are some things to remember when using a nicotine inhalant:

Store the inhaler in a dry area at room temperature not to exceed 77? F or 25? C.
Write down the time you take the inhalant and how much you take. This might be very useful when reducing your dose.
The normal first dose is between six and sixteen cartridges per day.
Common side effects of nicotine inhalants:

Mouth and throat irritation
Stuffy nose or runny nose
There are other common or more serious side effects. Please read the information that comes with the product carefully and be sure to contact your doctor if you have any questions.

Bupropion is more commonly seen under the brand names of Zyban? or Wellbutrin?. Zyban is specifically indicated for smoking cessation. It is not a nicotine-based medicine; it is an antidepressant that is only available by prescription. It is prescribed along with counseling and support to aid in smoking cessation. Bupropion might also be used to treat major depressive disorders. It usually takes 2 weeks for bupropion to take effect, so plan to quit smoking 2 weeks after beginning the treatment.

Before considering bupropion, be sure to inform your physician if you have a history of seizure disorder, bulimia, or anorexia nervosa.

Bupropion comes in tablets that are to be swallowed whole, not crushed, divided, or altered in any other way. Individual prescription strengths might vary, so if you are taking bupropion, be sure to follow the directions on the label. Ask your doctor or pharmacist any questions you have about how to take it, when to take it, any potential side effects, and the duration of treatment.

Common side effects of bupropion:

Dry mouth
Decreased appetite
There are other common or more serious side effects. Please read the Medication Guide that comes with the product carefully and be sure to contact your doctor if you have any questions.

Do not take bupropion if you have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) within the last 14 days. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors are used to treat depression. Some examples include: tranylcypromine (Parnate?), phenelzine (Nardil?), and isocarboxazid (Marplan?). There are several products that might interact with bupropion, so be sure to tell your doctor about any over-the-counter and/or prescription medicines, as well as any herbal supplements you are taking.

While taking bupropion, immediately report any psychological changes (e.G, new onset depression) to your doctor.

Varenicline (Chantix?)
Varenicline, also known by the brand name Chantix, is a prescription medication that does not contain nicotine. This medicine helps to reduce the reinforcing effects of nicotine and can minimize the withdrawal effects from nicotine. It is recommended to set a quit date 1 week after initiation of varenicline therapy. Typically, this medication is taken for a minimum of 12 weeks accompanied by smoking cessation counseling. If you have stopped smoking, another 12 weeks of varenicline might be prescribed. If you have not stopped smoking after the first 12 weeks, stop taking this medication and return to your doctor for advice. Varenicline should be taken with food and a full glass (8 ounces) of water.

Varenicline can interact with over-the-counter and prescription medicines especially insulin, blood thinners, and asthma medications as well as with certain herbal supplements; therefore, it would be important to inform your physician of your entire medication regimen.

Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any psychological changes (e.G, new onset depression) while taking varenicline.

Common side effects of varenicline:

Nausea, which may dissipate over time
There are other common or more serious side effects. Please read the Medication Guide that comes with the product carefully and be sure to contact your doctor if you have any questions.

How could research benefit smokers who want to quit?
Researchers are testing a vaccine that could make quitting a lot less difficult. This type of treatment could potentially be used in a program, along with bupropion (Zyban) and counseling, to significantly reduce withdrawal symptoms.

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