The innovative non-nicotine treatment, Champix, which has helped millions of people quit smoking for good in Europe and the United States, is now available in the UAE.
Approved by the Ministry of Health, the medication is designed to help people quit smoking and “stay quit,” to avoid relapsing into the damaging and potentially fatal activity. Champix is a non-nicotine agent and the first new treatment approved for smoking cessation in nearly a decade.
It is being made available at a suitable time for many smokers who are motivated to quit, as people look to quit during the Holy Month of Ramadan.
Physicians agree that, for those aiming to quit smoking, the medication is far more effective than relying on willpower alone. In two clinical trials, patients who received Champix had almost four times more chance of quitting smoking compared to patients who simply received a placebo, over a 12-week course of therapy.
“Smoking is not only a habit – as many people believe – it is a real addiction that often requires medical support to fully defeat,” said Dr. Bassam Mahboub, Consultant Pulmonologist-Allergy & Immunology and Head of the National Smoking Cessation Committee.
Smoking cessation specialists believe that people who are motivated to quit smoking in the Middle East are often better able to do so during the Holy Month of Ramadan. The use of Champix makes this process easier because it effectively treats the nicotine addiction.
All studies show that most smokers do not continue to smoke out of choice, but because they are addicted to nicotine in tobacco.
The UAE is the first country in the Middle East and Africa to make the medication available. Champix aids smoking cessation by reducing the severity of the smoker’s urge to smoke and alleviating many withdrawal symptoms from nicotine. Moreover, if a person smokes a cigarette while receiving treatment, the medicine has the potential to diminish the sense of satisfaction associated with smoking.
When it was launched in the US last year more than two million patients received a prescription within the first 11 months. In the US alone, more than 86,000 patients are now getting a Champix prescription every week.