Smokers hopeful new drug breaks habit

Chantix, a new stop-smoking drug that partially activates nicotine receptors in the brain, has arrived on the U.S. market.

USA Today says the new drug is different from other products because it levels out the peaks and dips from the roller coaster of nicotine addiction.

In clinical trials, about 22 percent of patients who took Chantix in clinical trials were still not smoking after a year. Thomas Glynn, director of cancer science at the American Cancer Society, told USA Today that fewer than 5 percent of smokers who try to quit on their own can last a year without a cigarette.

The newspaper said Acomplia, a drug available in Europe for weight loss, also has shown potential for helping smokers quit but it has not been approved for use in the United States.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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