Cigarettes contain nicotine. This highly addictive substance increases the levels of two important chemicals in your brain - dopamine and noradrenaline. These changes happen rapidly.

When you smoke, nicotine rushes to your brain, creating feelings of pleasure as well as reducing anxiety and stress. This is why many smokers enjoy the “high” and eventually, depend on it. There are about 7.4 million smokers in the United Kingdom.

Eventually, your brain gets used to nicotine. To get the same effect, you will need to smoke more. This leads to an addiction that’s hard to quit.

The Effects of Smoking

Smoking addiction can lead to severe consequences. Below are some of the health complications:

  • Emphysema
  • Lung cancer
  • Leukaemia
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Cataracts and other eye issues
  • Heart disease
  • Impotence
  • Infertility
  • Cold and other respiratory infections
  • Miscarriage
  • Gum disease
  • Dental problems
  • Weakened immune system
  • Osteoporosis
  • Peptic ulcer
  • Premature ageing
  • Loss of sense of smell or taste

Second-hand smoke is also as dangerous. Studies show that it can cause cancer, heart disease, asthma, and other respiratory infections to people close to smokers. Children are particularly at risk.

Use Champix Tablets to Stop Your Smoking Addiction

Quitting smoking is not easy. But it’s not impossible. Aside from lifestyle changes, there is now a prescription medicine designed to help you quit smoking for good.

What is Champix?

Champix is a prescription treatment made from varenicline. Unlike nicotine addiction therapies, Champix smoking tablets don’t contain any nicotine. Instead, it works by blocking the effects of nicotine in your brain - reducing your cravings and helping you cope up with the withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting smoking.

Champix is a twelve-week course of tablets that you take with food in the mornings and the evenings. During the first three days, you will only require to take one tablet each morning.

How do Champix smoking tablets work?

Champix tablets work by blocking nicotine. When you smoke, nicotine enters your bloodstream and attaches itself to nicotine receptors which then release dopamine - your pleasure hormone. Champix works by attaching itself to most of these receptors thus:

  • Giving you a continual hit of pleasure that’s spread evenly throughout the day.
  • Decreasing your cravings.
  • Decreasing your withdrawal symptoms like anxiety, restlessness, difficulty concentrating, and frustration.
  • Preventing you from getting a strong pleasure hit when you smoke.

How effective is Champix?

The Champix success rate is very high. According to the NHS, more than 6 in 10 smokers who use Champix tablets, along with proper support, stop smoking for a month or more.

Who should take Champix?

Champix tablets are for those who are motivated to give up their smoking addiction but can’t find success using other means.

Who should NOT take Champix?

Although Champix is considered safe for most people, doctors don't recommend taking Champix smoking tablets if you are:

  • Under 18 years old
  • Suffering from severe kidney failure
  • Suffering from mental health problems
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding

What if I miss a dose of Champix?

You should take Champix smoking tablets regularly, at the same time each day. If you miss a dose, don’t double dose to make up for it. Take a dose as soon as you remember it. If it’s almost time for your next dose, do not take the Champix tablet that you missed.

Can I still smoke while taking Champix?

Yes. Part of the course is deciding on a specific date when you will stop smoking. This is usually done during the second week of treatment. This date is known as your “quit date”. If you choose to continue smoking after your quit date, your chances of successfully quitting your smoking addiction will drop.

Can I use Champix with other medications?

Champix should not interfere with other medications. But to be sure, consult with your doctor before starting the course.

What are the Champix side effects that I need to be aware of?

Some of the common Champix side effects include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Nausea
  • Abnormal dreams
  • Headache

Champix tablets may also cause sleepiness. If you drive regularly, operate complex machines, or work in a hazardous environment, don’t take Champix smoking tablets until you are sure that it doesn’t interfere with your ability to perform these tasks.

Depression, anxiousness, irritability, and inability to focus are common symptoms of smoking withdrawal. You’ll experience this with or without taking Champix tablets. Rarely though does depression lead to suicidal thoughts. If you experience suicidal behaviour while taking the course, stop taking Champix immediately and consult with your doctor.

Other Champix side effects include weight gain or increased appetite and decreased heart rate.

Is Champix Enough to Quit Smoking?

No. Champix helps you give up smoking, but without willpower, you are unlikely to succeed. Quitting smoking is hard. Below are some tips on how to keep yourself motivated.

  • Remember the reasons why you want to quit smoking. This could be personal, health, financial, or family reasons. It's best if you write these on paper and place them on a place that you can see every day to continually remind yourself.
  • Most cravings last for 5 minutes. You can develop a strategy to help you cope up with these episodes (e.g. taking a walk, chewing gum, listening to a song, stretching, etc.)
  • Avoid going to places where smoking is common (pubs, bars, etc.). Instead, try to enjoy other social activities where there is no opportunity to smoke (playing sports, cinema, etc.)
  • Talk to your family or friends and ask for their support. There are also helplines available if you want.

Where can I buy Champix?

You can buy Champix tablets online from Express Pharmacy. Browse our stop smoking treatments to get started.