Now, a drug claims to aid smoking cessation | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Now, a drug claims to aid smoking cessation

delhi Updated: Jul 22, 2008 14:37 IST
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Here is good news for those who want to kick the smoking habit as a new drug claims to help smokers overcome their addiction.

Unlike other smoking cessation solutions that work only on controlling the withdrawal symptoms, Champix - a drug by Pfizer -- reduces withdrawal symptoms and smoker's sense of satisfaction derived from smoking, says its manufacturer.

"Both nicotine (found in cigarettes and responsible for addiction to smoking) and Varenicline act on the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in the brain, which is associated with the addictive effects of nicotine," says Dr Sajeela Maini, a Delhi-based smoking cessation therapist.

"When the varenicline binds to these receptors it releases levels of dopamine that are required for normal functioning of the body. Hence, it reduces the craving to smoke and eases the withdrawal symptoms," she says.

The unique drug researched and developed by Pfizer helps people to overcome smoking addiction, said Maini.

Briefing the use of such drugs on a person's habit, she says, "When the binding of nicotine to receptors is blocked by Varenicline, nicotine is unable to activate these receptors and cannot stimulate the release of dopamine - which produces the sense of satisfaction or pleasure and motivation in smokers. Hence it reduces both the craving to smoke and dependence on smoking to feel good."

According to a survey conducted by World health Organisation (WHO), in India alone, 5500 youths succumb to tobacco addiction daily.