7 Medical Breakthroughs for Women
7. New Way to Stop Smoking
A just-approved drug called Chantix can help even hard-core smokers kick the habit. In clinical studies, volunteers who took Chantix twice a day for three months were nearly four times as likely to stop smoking than people taking a placebo, and they had almost double the success rate as those taking Zyban, another medication prescribed to help people quit smoking. After one year, approximately 20 percent of the Chantix group was still smoke-free. "Those are much better results than what we usually see," says Thomas J. Glynn, PhD, a tobacco expert at the American Cancer Society in Washington, D.C.
Chantix may be a good option for the one in five American women who smoke, particularly those who are younger and use cigarettes as a way to help control their weight. The drug stimulates the same nervous-system receptors as nicotine and eases the serious craving and withdrawal symptoms that make quitting so difficult. While Chantix isn't an appetite suppressant like nicotine, "it is designed to fool the brain into believing it's received a nicotine fix," explains Glynn. "Chantix prompts the release of enough endorphins to give you some of the pleasure of smoking with fewer symptoms of withdrawal. The drug is a significant step forward."
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