New hope for smokers eager to kick the habit

Smokers looking to kick the habit will soon be able to receive extra help from the Champix drug, which has already had a high success rate in helping people to quit in other countries, officials said yesterday. Champix, expected to go on sale in Greece in the next few days, acts on the brain’s receptors the same way that nicotine does, according to medical experts. It produces an effect that relieves craving and withdrawal symptoms, while also preventing any nicotine inhaled in tobacco smoke from having a rewarding and pleasurable effect. Sources said that the Central Health Council is considering placing Champix on the list of drugs paid for by state funds for certain categories of smokers. The drug is considered to be very effective among heavy smokers, where the success rate is above 40 percent. It will only be available by prescription and the treatment normally runs for 12-weeks.

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