Science and Tech


Drug Given To Smokers Could Help Them Gradually Quit

A study found that smokers taking the drug varenicline might be more likely to quit for good. Pfizer makes the drug and funded the study.
Posted at 8:40 PM, Feb 18, 2015

Hoping to kick the habit down the road? A new study suggests getting on medication now might help.

The study in Journal of the American Medical Association found those who use the drug varenicline, or Chantix, for an extended amount of time before they quit smoking have a higher chance of quitting for good than those who quit without taking the drug. 

This is significant because most doctors currently only prescribe varenicline for people who are serious enough about quitting to set a quit date. But, it makes sense when you think about it. (Video Via CNN)

Varenicline works by reducing a smoker's urge to smoke, so even current smokers taking the drug won't want to smoke as often. (Video Via CBS)

And those who don't smoke as much and have less of an urge to smoke may have an easier time quitting completely. (Video Via Fox News)

Tobacco expert Dr. David Abrams told The New York Times"Sometimes serious addiction needs to be coaxed down the stairs one at a time, not thrown off the top floor."

Researchers looked at more than 1,500 smokers who had no immediate plans to quit smoking. 

It's important to mention Pfizer Inc. funded the study. Pfizer is the maker of Chantix.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates smoking is responsible for one in every five deaths in the U.S. but says some of the risks dramatically drop after quitting the habit.

This video includes images from Getty Images.