New drug to fight smoking addiction by year-end

ABU DHABI — A new non-nicotine medicine, designed to help people quit smoking, will be available in the local market before the year-end.

By Nada S.mussallam

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Published: Fri 2 Feb 2007, 9:20 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 2:25 AM

Being seen as a major breakthrough, Champix provides hope as a new weapon in the fight against smoking addiction.

A spokesman of Pfizer International, the company manufacturing the drug, told Khaleej Times yesterday that they would soon approach the Ministry of Health (MoH) to get Champix registered.

"The response has been fantastic so far," the spokesman pointed out, while referring to the reaction of officials in the UAE.

Explaining how the drug works, he said it provides relief from the withdrawal symptoms that all smokers experience when they quit smoking.

"Champix is not a nicotine replacement therapy, and therefore, it does not deliver any nicotine into the body," he informed.

As for the cost, the Pfizer spokesman said, "it (cost) will be less than the average cost a heavy smoker spends on cigarettes every month."

Smoking has been associated with cancer, the third main cause of mortality in the UAE.

Recent statistics show that smoking claims 1,500 lives in the UAE annually.

The average comes to nearly four lives a day.


Stopping smoking isn't easy, and no therapy works like magic; risk of relapse is a key challenge for people who want to quit smoking; and the standard course of Champix therapy is 12 weeks, but a health care professional may choose to prescribe an additional 12-week course

Side Effects

No medicines are without side effects; the main side effects of the drug could be nausea, insomnia and abnormal dreams; the most common side-effect reported was nausea, which was generally mild and transient; and less than 3 per cent of smokers discontinued treatment because of this.

(Source: Distributed by PR Newswire on behalf of Pfizer Ltd London)

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