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A Different Way to Help Quitters Quit
Good News for Smokers
There’s good news for smokers this week with the launch of Champix™ in Ireland. Champix, is the first new prescription aid to smoking cessation treatment approved by the EMEA and U.S. Food and Drug Administration in nearly a decade, and it is now available to Irish patients. Those who are prescribed Champix will be offered the opportunity to enroll in a behavioural modification programme called Life RewardsTM Support Plan at no additional cost. The plan was developed by Pfizer with input from smoking cessation experts.
“By launching Champix in Ireland to help people quit smoking, we hope to take a positive step toward improving the health of smokers, their families and friends, and society in general,” says Jay Cusack, Champix Brand Manager. “Quitting smoking is challenging physiologically and psychologically. Very often, smokers are very much on their own during the difficult quitting process. To help people break free from the powerful grip of smoking, we are offering Champix with a personalised behaviour modification program called Life RewardsTM Support Plan. It is our hope that this will help smokers achieve their goal of living smoke-free.”
Decline in Smoking has been Reversed
According to the Office of Tobacco Control the overall prevalence of cigarette smoking in Ireland is approximately 24%. There was a decline in smoking prevalence after the smoke free legislation in March 2004, however this decline has now been reversed. In particular there is a rise in smoking prevalence among young women. 25% of the female population smoke. There is also a reversal in the decline in smoking among 15-18 year olds and 19-35 year olds generally. It is estimated that 18% of 15-18 year olds smoke and 33% of 19-35 year olds. Half of all smokers will die from tobacco related disease and of these 50% will die prematurely. In Ireland 7,000 people die every year from tobacco related diseases. Annually 1,500 people die from lung cancer. Smoking causes 30% of all cancers, including 90% of lung cancers.
Four out of every 5 smokers wish they had never started. Champix offers an important advance in smoking cessation. It is the first in a new class of medicines called selective nicotinic acetylcholine receptor partial agonists and it works by binding to the nicotinic receptors and providing relief from the craving and withdrawal symptoms while also reducing satisfaction and the rewarding effects of smoking.
A Death Every Eight Seconds
Smoking is the world’s leading preventable cause of premature death. While many smokers would like to quit to prevent further damage to their health, the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that less than 5% of smokers trying to quit unaided remain abstinent at 1 year. It is believed that most smokers continue to smoke not out of choice, but because they are addicted to nicotine. Addiction to nicotine is a chronic, relapsing medical condition. Worldwide, approximately 1.3 billion people currently smoke cigarettes. Approximately five million people die of smoking-related diseases each year worldwide and the WHO estimates that if current smoking patterns continue, the number of people dying of smoking-related diseases globally will double by 2020 to 10 million a year. According to the WHO, every eight seconds a person dies of a smoking-related disease (and almost as quickly someone else takes up smoking for the first time).
Further information on smoking and quitting can be found on the following websites: ASH Ireland: www.ash.ie
, Irish Heart Foundation: www.irishheart.ie
, Irish Cancer Society: www.cancer.ie
, Office of Tobacco Control: www.otc.ie