Survey About Smoking Cessation Drugs Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Smoking Cessation Drugs

The majority of smokers who try to quit smoking do so from six to nine times during their lives. This research paper, which focuses on smoking cessation drugs, includes a survey the researcher conducted at three medical facilities. Forty participants relate details regarding their attempts to quit smoking.

"…Quitting smoking is one of the best things [one] can do for […his/her] health.

Most smokers try to quit 6-9 times in their lives"

- The U.S. Surgeon General ("Quitting can be…" 2009).

Quitting Smoking

"I know I need to quit smoking."

"I'm trying to quit."

"I plan to quit…."

"Quitting smoking is hard…."

As most smokers "realize" the damage smoking cigarettes does to the human body, many smokers regularly verbalize the statements denoting their intentions to quit smoking. The truth, albeit, as the introductory quote for this research paper purports, even though quitting smoking constitutes one of the best things a person can do for his/her health, quitting smoking simultaneously proves to be one of the hardest challenges a smoker counters. In fact, as The U.S. Surgeon General notes, "Most smokers try to quit 6-9 times in their lives." Smoking cessation drugs and/or methods, the focus for this research paper, therefore, the researcher asserts, qualify as subjects worthy of investigating.

The U.S. Surgeon General routinely investigates smoking cessation drugs; methods, and poses the question CHANTIX notes in their promotion for their stop smoking drug: "So why is it so hard to quit?" ("Quitting can be…" 2009). CHANTIX, the primary smoking cessation drug examined during this research effort, purports that understanding the reasons why quitting smoking may be difficult at times may prove helpful. The researcher asserts that it not only helpful, but prove vital for smokers who want to quit to understand more about smoking cessation drugs such as CHANTIX .

REVIEW OF LITERATURE

Tobacco addiction contributes to approximately 438,000 deaths in the United States each year, with smoking cigarettes constituting one of the most common preventable causes of death, on report asserts. Tobacco use kills five million people a year worldwide, another source stresses (Recent safety news, para. 2). Eliminating smoking could greatly reduce the occurrence of coronary heart disease and other forms of cardiovascular disease, including cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, thrombosis, coronary artery spasm, and cardiac arrhythmia (U.S. Surgeon General 2009).

Quitting smoking, albeit, proves to be difficult to most smokers. Right after a person starts to quit smoking, along with symptoms that accompany nicotine withdrawal, he/she may experience a number of short-term effects such as weight gain, irritability and anxiety. Ways to quit smoking include "cold turkey," step-by-step manuals, counseling or medical products may help replace or reduce nicotine addiction.

Advertisers, including drug companies, routinely market a number of stop-smoking products, scientifically "proven" to help a person quit smoking. These products, however, cannot do the "work" required to quit smoking. Using particular stop-smoking products, albeit, may help the smoker, determined to quit smoking, feel more comfortable and in control while he/she adjusts his/her life to be free from smoking.

The development of smoking cessation drugs dates back to 1971 when Pharmacia developed the first nicotine replacement product for smoking cessation, nicotine-laced chewing gum. Ensuring, contemporary nicotine replacement products can help relieve some of the withdrawal symptoms the smoker experiences when he/she attempts to quit smoking. Several nicotine replacement products currently available over-the-counter in the U.S. include two nicotine patches, nicotine gum and nicotine lozenges. In addition to over the counter products, a smoker wanting to quit smoking may obtain nicotine nasal spray, inhaler (Zyban) and the recently approved nicotine-free tablet (CHANTIX) by prescription. CHANTIX

CHANTIX asserts that its program includes a support plan with a steady, step-by-step approach designed to help the smoker quit smoking. "CHANTIX has been proven to help people quit" ("Quitting can be…" 2009), CHANTIX proclaims. Some of the ways CHANTIX reported differs from other quit-smoking products reportedly include:

In studies, 44% of CHANTIX users were quit during weeks 9 to 12 of treatment (vs. 18% on sugar pill).

CHANTIX is a non-nicotine pill.

CHANTIX can reduce the urge to smoke.

It comes with GETQUIT™, a support plan created just for CHANTIX users and designed to help you think and act like a quitter. ("Quitting can be…" 2009)

As prescribed drugs to help smokers quit smoking include side effects, as with other types of medication, the "patient" needs to follow his/her doctor's orders and use the prescribed smoking cessation product as prescribed; adhering to labeling directives. The drug CHANTIX (varenicline), for instance, which works on nicotine receptors in the brain and decreases the craving for smoking, reports a number of potential side effects. Some have been so serious that the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) asserts the marketer of the adult smoking cessation prescription drug CHANTIX needs to update the patient and doctor information to note that some patients using CHANTIZ have experienced suicidal ideations, with some individuals following through with suicide attempts.

To be most effective, nicotine replacement products should be used in conjunction with a behavior change program. This would help the individual attempting to quit smoking better deal with a depressed mood, which may manifest as a symptom of nicotine withdrawal. Depression, along with suicidal ideations, and suicide attempts, have been reported in patients attempting to cease smoking.

Most smokers who attempt to quit smoking do so without assistance. Less than 5% of individuals who try to quit on their own (cold-turkey), however, prove to be successful long-term. "This underscores the need to get people help with medication when quitting smoking in order to address this important public health issue. Quitting with assistance can more than double one's chances of success" (Recent safety news, para. 2). The U.S. Public Health Service's Clinical Practice Guideline Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence recommends a combination treatment plan of medication and intensive counseling for smokers who want to quit smoking. Combining counseling and medication reportedly proves more effective than either counseling or medication alone (Free & Clear, para. 5).

News regarding the safety of a prescription smoking cessation therapy has contributed to some smokers avoiding medication to aid in their smoking cessation efforts (Recent safety news, para. 1). Currently, only two approved medications for smoking cessation are marketed in the U.S. ("Smoking cessation market…," para. 6). Two new drugs to help smokers quit, however, are expected to be launched in 2012 and 2013. In addition, scientists are developing vaccines to address the addiction to nicotine ("Smoking cessation market…," para. 9). One independent report asserts Nicotine Replacement Therapies (NRTs), such as gums, patches, inhalants, lozenges and pills as near useless, as it also cites dangers of using NRTs. "On the matter of NRTs, the study concludes that their use is fairly beneficial to smokers needing short-term cigarette replacement, like in an airplane, employment or while dining, but have NO IMPACT helping smokers stop, long-term (New Report, para. 4). This report contends that within five years, smokers who use NRTs will be twice as likely to relapse back to smoking cigarettes than smokers who quit cold turkey. Another study, on the other hand, claims that smokers trying to gradually kick the smoking habit can better succeed with the help of nicotine gum (Nicotine Gum effective, para. 2).

Some ex-smokers report that chewing gum or sucking on candy helped them address the oral cravings associated with smoking. Some purport herbal options to work better as they also offer therapeutic benefits. Roy Upton, executive director of the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia, based in Scotts Valley, California contends: "One potential herbal therapy for craving is lobelia because it contains lobeline, an alkaloid similar to nicotine. Herbalists have traditionally used lobelia in conjunction with a nervine to help reduce craving" (Upton quoted in Clute, para. 4). Upton recommends that people trying to quit smoking keep something to chew on with them for times the cravings attack. This could be a stick of licorice or a bag of fennel seeds, according to Upton. Licorice helps support the adrenals, Upton points out, which also relates to the stress aspect of quitting smoking.

Fewer than half of smokers who attempt to quit remain non-smokers after one year, Michael Rabinoff, DO, PhD, assistant research psychiatrist in the UCLA Department of Psychiatry. Even though quitting smoking may not be easy, in fact, even difficult despite the help of the best scientifically proven methods, smokers need to remember the old adge: "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again" ("A new reason…," para. 1).

RESEARCHER'S STUDY

Methodology

Initially, at the start of this study, the researcher aimed to evaluate CHANTIX regarding its effectiveness, problems, side effects, and why smokers who used this smoking cessation "tool" sometimes quit it rather than quitting cigarettes. The researcher pondered whether smokers prescribing to CHANTIX discontinued using this drug because of its high cost, its potentially grave side effects, or due to both the drug's high cost and severe side effects. Shortly after beginning to research this particular study option, albeit, the researcher confronted…

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