Still Smoke?

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A pharmaceutical rep came into the office the other day with a product for my patients with chronic bronchitis and emphysema caused by cigarettes. I told her that I had only one smoker in my entire practice.

Reaching into her Louis Vuitton sample case (they’re well paid, these reps), she pulled out samples of Chantix, with the words “Well, if you have any new patients who smoke, try this.”

What happened is that over the next few months, I did have some new patients who were smokers. After reading everything I could about the drug, I recommended Chantix and the result was indeed amazing.

The drug works by blocking the nicotine receptors in your brain, those annoying areas that scream “Give us a cigarette!” when they feel deprived. If you’re a heavy smoker, the receptors are insatiable.

You’ll take Chantix for about three or four months total. You don’t actually stop smoking until after you’ve been using Chantix for at least a week. Then you go cold turkey and, to your utter astonishment, your cravings are gone. You expect to feel stressed out (like when you tried to stop in the past) but you’re not.

Many studies on smoking cessation show that increasing the number of therapies increases the success rate. I suggest that smokers combine Chantix with acupuncture and Chinese herbs (although for some lucky people, the acupuncture/herbal combination works by itself). Our acupuncturist, Mari Stecker, has successfully guided dozens of people out of their hazy, smoke-filled existence.

Chantix is quite safe, and although there are some side effects listed (www.chantix.com), my patients report nothing of any significance.

I know you don’t smoke. But if you have a friend who does, have her give me a call.

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