Truth Will Out

*Update: If you or a loved one has suffered a bad reaction to Champix and you are based in the U.K., you can report it to the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) here. The more people do that the clearer the true picture will become. Protect others! Report it.*

After four years of collecting smokers’ feedback about Chantix/Champix/varenicline on this site, it is now obvious that no-one is safe from this drug, not even people who have taken it before with hardly any side effects.  This is typical of some of the feedback we are getting from people who have tried a second or third course of the drug because of its high relapse rate:

“I first went on Champix 3 years ago, did the full course and gave up smoking for 2 years.  only side effect was a few weird dreams.  Unfortuneatly I started smoking again so went to get a new course from the doctor.  5 weeks in and I am now close to finishing it all.  I can’t sleep, keep shaking, crying uncontrollably and look at knifes in the draw, pass the bath and see myself lying there with no more problems and it won’t stop.
Doctor stopped me taking them 5 days ago, 2 days later he put me on valium and I’m still not able to control myself without taking valium to put me to sleep.  Currently I’m looking at the valium and thinking if I take the lot then it will stop all this crazy feeling.
worst thing is I know what is causing it but can’t stop.  I think the drug should be banned because it is crazy.  Does anyone know how long this will go on because living alone I don’t know if this will stop before it takes control of me.  it has to stop soon I pray”

No Isolated Case

If you’re reading this and trying to reassure yourself that this is some kind of freak case – it isn’t.  These individual nightmares are going on all over the world, and are seriously under-reported which is why I am screaming about it from the TruthWill Out site and will continue to do so until this evil drug is withdrawn from sale.  Imagine going through this yourself, or someone you love going through that just because they wanted to improve their health and they innocently assumed that the drug had proved safe in clinical trials.

It didn’t: the manufacturer Pfizer hid some of the evidence from a crucial safety review by submitting the reports of hundreds of bad reactions “through the wrong channels” at the Food and Drug administration.  When this fact came to light, the French government withdrew public funding of the drug, citing “safety concerns”.  All the other Health Departments in governments all over the world who have done lucrative deals with Pfizer decided to pretend it didn’t happen, and that is the only reason this terror is continuing.  If you think it’s all about depression and suicide, think again: the list of serious ailments caused by this drug is a long one and many lives have been ruined already.

Champix has aleady caused suicides, murders, violent attacks, horrendous depression, crippling pain, major life-threatening seizures and epilepsy in people who have never had epilepsy before, life-threatening skin conditions where skin blisters up and falls off, damage to optic nerves, increased risk of heart attacks… and as this message proves, it usually doesn’t work in the long run anyway.

If you have taken Champix yourself, and like David the first time round, had hardly any side effects and stopped smoking for a while, you might feel inclined to send me a message saying: “I think Champix is brilliant!”  …not realising you were just lucky the first time round.  David’s advice now would probably be: “Don’t risk it again.”

more smokers’ feedback

 

Nicotine is not a drug

March 20th, 2012

by Chris Holmes

Let me explain why the nicotine story is the biggest case of mistaken identity in medical history:

The early promotion of tobacco in Western Europe was based on two simple things: belief in medicinal properties it doesn’t really have, and the age-old phenomenon of people copying one another and trying to make an impression, otherwise known as ‘fashion’.

The tobacco plant’s Latin name is Nicotiana Tabacum, named after the French Ambassador to Portugal, Jean Nicot de Villemain.  In 1560 he was sending tobacco and tobacco seeds to Paris from Brazil, and promoting their medicinal use – mistakenly, as we now know.  At the time, lots of plants were reckoned to be beneficial to health and according to a book published by Spanish physician Nicolas Monardes in 1571, tobacco was widely credited with curing 36 ailments including toothache, worms, lockjaw and cancer.

So originally, tobacco was supposed to be good for you.  Gradually, over the years everyone realised that it did not cure worms, lockjaw or anything else – in fact it was just a filthy habit.  No-one imagined or suggested at the time that this was recreational drug use or intoxicating in any way, because it obviously isn’t.  That is why, even today, people are allowed to smoke tobacco and then drive cars or operate heavy machinery – even pilot an aircraft.  If smoking tobacco was recreational drug use, would that be permitted?  Of course not!

When any individual first tries smoking, it is because they want to sample something they have not been permitted to try before.  As a smoking cessation specialist, I have asked thousands of smokers why they picked up a cigarette in the first place, and the answers are predictable:

because my mates were doing it

because I wasn’t allowed to

because I thought it was cool

because I wanted to be all grown up…

In twelve years, no smoker has ever said to me: “I started smoking for the effects of nicotine.”  Not one.  But most of them can easily recall what that first experience of tobacco was like:

it was revolting

it made me feel dizzy and sick

I felt faint, had heart palpitations and then threw up…

All very common experiences.  So, whatever it was that made us pick up the second cigarette, it wasn’t because we enjoyed the experience of smoking the first one.  It was the same thing that made us pick up the first one: mischief, rebellion, peer pressure, a rite of passage, trying to grow up quick – any of those.  The fact is, we weren’t doing it for the effects of nicotine, AND WE KNEW THAT, THEN.  Curiosity, a bit of devilment… but we were also doing it for appearances, how we imagined it made us look: older, tougher, cooler, less like a kid.

It was only later that we came to believe it was all about nicotine, because we were TOLD to believe that.  But believing that is no different from believing that it cures worms or lockjaw, isn’t it?  That misinformation also came from Doctors.

Nicotine Receptors

Smokers are told that their cravings are a result of the nicotine receptors in their brains “going crazy for nicotine” as the nicotine replacement advert puts it.  [Hint: those guys are trying to sell you nicotine!]  But nearly all smokers will have noticed that their cravings switch on and off automatically, depending upon what they are doing.  They switch on in the morning having been off all night long, they switch off when the smoker boards a bus or a train, back on when a smoking opportunity arises then off again when they walk into a hospital or a cinema.

A small number of smokers struggle with these everyday restrictions, but that is only because they have personally chosen to resent the restriction.  The vast majority of smokers accept the new restriction pretty quickly, and then after that it doesn’t bother them.  Most smokers tell me that they can manage journeys by aircraft surprisingly easily, but then immediately add: “But as soon as it gets near the time to land, I’m thinking of having a cigarette…”  Nevertheless they are puzzled as to why their “nicotine receptors” seemed to be remarkably well-behaved for most of the seven hours on the flight!

Question: how could the nicotine receptors in your brain possibly know that you just stepped on to an aircraft?

Answer: they don’t, and they would have no way of understanding that social restriction anyway. So why aren’t they “going crazy” right throughout the flight, Doc?

From this, it is obvious to any clear-thinking individual that there is AN OBSERVANT INTELLIGENCE governing the switching on and off of craving signals, which is also why they don’t pester you whilst you’re busy at work, playing sports or gardening.  That observant intelligence is called the Subconscious Mind, and it controls all habitual behaviour and the craving system, which is basically a reminder system.  It has nothing to do with tobacco or nicotine specifically: we get lots of cravings, they’re not all about tobacco.

Why Nicotine is Not a Drug 

So we can see that cravings are not related to falling nicotine levels, or else air travel would drive all smokers to distraction and none of them could sit through a movie.

Now, there are only two types of drug: medicinal drugs and recreational drugs.  Tobacco was supposed to be medicinal originally, but now we know it’s not, and so tobacco is not prescribed for any medical condition anywhere in the world, not ever.  Nor do tobacco companies claim that it has any beneficial or medicinal effects.  If it did, and that could be proven scientifically, you could bet your life they would use that in their marketing.  The fact that tobacco contains nicotine does not make it any more beneficial to health: tobacco is not a medicinal product, in fact the modern medical consensus is that tobacco is bad for you, and smokers are routinely advised by medical personnel to stop smoking it.

We all found out that tobacco has no recreational use the first time we ever tried it, and the fact that a smoker can lean on his car smoking tobacco, keys in hand, chatting to an officer of the law, then freely get in and drive away legally proves that no-one is suggesting that he or she is getting high on that.  In fact throughout the entire history of tobacco consumption in Europe over the last 400 years, no-one has ever suggested that it is a form of recreational drug use.  When you see office workers standing around outside the office building on a smoking break, they’re not “getting high”, are they?  Everybody knows that.  When they go back in, no-one says: “Forget asking George to do anything complicated for the next half hour, he’s just been smoking tobacco!”  Smokers would be unemployable if tobacco got you stoned or wired, and they certainly wouldn’t be entrusted with heavy goods vehicles, coaches or buses.

No medicinal use, no recreational use.

But what does nicotine actually DO?

First of all, nicotine is only one of thousands of chemicals in tobacco smoke.  When it was first isolated from the tobacco plant in 1828, it was regarded by the team that did that as a poison, not a drug.  This was perfectly reasonable because this alkaloid acts as a natural insecticide – it kills the bugs that try to eat tobacco leaves.  Once isolated it was widely used as an insecticide, and even now nicotine analogs such as imidacloprid continue to be widely used.  Why “nicotine” should have been named after the plant itself is unclear: no-one was suggesting at that point that this particular poison was the key to tobacco’s popularity or the thing that smokers were after.  And indeed it wasn’t, but about 115 years later, someone would start vehemently insisting that it was.  That someone was Doctor Lennox Johnston, and he was a real lone voice: his suggestion that tobacco smoking was actually a drug addiction was regarded as nonsense by medical authority and the wider profession alike.

Over the last twelve years, I have asked thousands of smokers: “What does nicotine do?  If it IS a drug, and you are smoking tobacco for the effects of this drug, what ARE those effects?”  Not one smoker has ever answered that question correctly.  “I think it relaxes me” is the most common guess.  In fact, nicotine makes the heart race, blood pressure rise, blood fat levels rise and there is an increased risk of thrombosis (blood clots). All those effects are toxic, hazardous and largely unnoticeable, but if the first two reached noticeable levels they would be uncomfortable.  If the last one reached a noticeable level, you would be dead or on your way to a hospital.  In short, no-one is smoking for the effects of nicotine, which is why smokers cannot tell me what the effects of nicotine are.

But then we never were smoking for the effects of nicotine right from the beginning.  In fact back then, the effects of nicotine knocked us sick, as did many other chemicals in the smoke.

Lennox Johnston was WRONG!

Smokers smoke because of cravings – that’s true – but cravings are nothing to do with nicotine, or anything else in the smoke.  Before Lennox Johnston came along, no-one ever thought they were.  I first realised that this was a fact when I started doing hypnotherapy and found that cravings can be shut down by the Subconscious mind upon request, provided the smoker is happy for that to be the outcome.  Then I wrote the book Nicotine: The Drug That Never Was in order to explain all the details and how we use hypnotherapy to eliminate the smoking habit, cravings and all.  Since then, a study from Tel Aviv University has confirmed what I stated about cravings being unrelated to nicotine levels and another from Harvard University has confirmed that Nicotine Replacement products don’t work at all, just as I have argued for years.

I wonder how long it will be before Science confirms my third and final point: that nicotine isn’t a drug at all.

Cue the links to exciting new studies suggesting that nicotine may help with…

Yeah, we know.  For years now, the drug giants that make nicotine replacement products have been desperately searching for some new application for the poison gum and the poison patches.  They know the game is almost up, and that soon everyone will realise that those products are based on a myth.  But the poison factory is already there, and it would seem a shame to lose all that revenue…

Spurious new ‘uses’ for nicotine!

A Song for Nicotine Manufacturers!

More about Lennox Johnston 

Central Hypnotherapy

 

by hypnotherapist Chris Holmes

Now that the latest research from Harvard University  has found that:

“…using NRT (Nicotine Replacement Therapy) is no more effective in helping people stop smoking cigarettes in the long term than trying to quit on one’s own.”

– exactly as The Truth Will Out Campaign has been stating since May 2008 based on the UK government’s own research

… it is time for all interested parties in this debate to demand that the NHS drop this worthless poison nicotine, which has never been “therapeutic” and stop lying to smokers about its supposed efficacy.  This global fraud is still being marketed, promoted and sold all over the world with the blessing AND recommendation of Medical Authorities and parties CLAIMING to be ‘scientific’ in principle and in practice, and these products have been wrongly labelled: “Evidence-based medicine”, when in fact they are neither medicine NOR evidence-based unless we are to allow the most blatantly misleading, shameless marketing spin to be regarded as evidence.

I think it was Edzard Ernst who said that there is no such thing as alternative medicine, there is only medicine:  it either works or it doesn’t.  His friends in The Nightingale Collaboration seem to agree: on their website they tell us that:

“We have set up The Nightingale Collaboration to enable us to share our knowledge and experience in challenging misleading claims in healthcare advertising and encourage anyone who is concerned in protecting the public from misinformation in healthcare promotion to join us in challenging it.  Together we can work to improve the protection of the public by getting misleading claims withdrawn and those responsible held to account.”

Right – so that’s ANY kind of healthcare, right?  So that would include all the misleading claims about nicotine replacement poisoning of the sort I’ve been exposing for years, surely?  Now that we have numerous independent scientific reports that consistently show long-term effects mirroring the long-term outcome for willpower alone at around 6%, there is clearly NO SCIENTIFIC BASIS for the endorsement or promotion of these products and especially not at taxpayers’ expense, and the NHS – a public service – has no business pretending that has not been clearly established.

So all those supposedly ‘scientific’ individuals who style themselves “quackbusters” have a bit of a dilemma here, don’t they?  They have designed their website carefully to make it look as though they are being all-inclusive in their bid to protect the public from lies and misinformation in the field of healthcare, but Martin Robbins’ “Lay scientist” piece in The Guardian annnouncing the launch of The Nightingale Collaboration completely gave away their real agenda: “A new skeptical campaign [which] aims to put the screws on alternative medicine.”

Question: Why be so coy about that on the Nightingale Collaboration website, then?  Answer: To appear objective, mislead the public and pay lip-service to the notion that the same ‘rigorous’ standards of scientific enquiry into safety and efficacy should be applied to both conventional medicine (ConMed) AND alternative methods, when in fact thay are not investigating ConMed at all.

But to have any real credibility over your stated aim to be trying to protect the public regarding misleading claims in healthcare, Collaborators, you surely cannot ignore the biggest medical scam ever perpetrated on an unsuspecting public.  NRT was originally approved on the basis of its performance at only 6 weeks.  The manufacturers were even allowed to quote that short-term result on the packaging as if it were the actual success rate of the product, which I KNOW you would be up in arms about if it were a herbal remedy, or something like that.  So come on:  we’re challenging you, here, to demonstrate that what you loftily declare on your website isn’t just meaningless cant.

The UK government have known since The Borland Report was published in 2005 that the long-term outcome of NRT is the same as willpower, and yet they have carried on regardless with the purchase and endorsement of these products – fraudulently, with taxpayers’ resources – for a further seven years, deliberately wasting smokers’ time with products that they KNOW will not actually help them – and in that time something like a further 770,000 smokers in the UK have died.  For you to wink at that, Collaborators, whilst getting all outraged about what some homeopath says on their website would prove you to be utterly insincere and fantastically petty, would it not?

This latest damning research from Harvard clearly proves Nicotine Replacement to be the biggest Quack Therapy in history and now this hideously corrupt boil on the face of healthcare must be lanced, so I’m sure, Collaborators, that you will feel that you must – for the sake of your credibility alone, if not your honour – join me in demanding that the NHS now DROP NICOTINE REPLACEMENT  PRODUCTS AND ADMIT THEIR FAILURE AND USELESSNESS so that “we can work to improve the protection of the public by getting misleading claims withdrawn and those responsible held to account.”

No need to thank me for drawing this massive fraud and human disaster to your attention – after all, we’re working together here to protect the innocent – right Collaborators?

The easiest way to quit smoking

The Nicotine Myth Exploded

By hypnotherapist Chris Holmes

Tel Aviv University and Harvard University Studies Back Up Truth Will Out

Ready for the proof?  Back in May 2008, I launched this public awareness campaign and made three controversial announcements: first, I said that smokers’ cravings are NOT connected to nicotine – that smoking was a compulsive habit, not a drug addiction.  Secondly, that Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) was bogus and doesn’t work any better than willpower if we look at the results at six or twelve months, so it should be completely discredited and scrapped.  Thirdly – and perhaps most controversially of all – that nicotine is NOT A DRUG AT ALL, just one of the many toxins in the smoke and the wrong explanation of compulsive smoking behaviour.  Craving signals drive smoking behaviour; no-one is really smoking for the effects of nicotine, even if they currently believe that they are.

Some interested parties tried to insist that numerous studies had shown NRT to be effective, so we obtained those studies from the UK
Department of Health.  They showed no such thing.  What they actually revealed was that the quit-rate for NRT at one-year follow-up was a mere 6%, and that it stayed about the same across every independent study (and is accepted as such by the Royal College of Physicians), but the figure for willpower alone varies from 2% to as high as 8% or more, depending on which study you look at.

This means it is easy enough for those promoting nicotine products or defending current government policy to compare the 6% NRT figure to
the 2% figure for willpower, and claim that smokers are “3 times as likely to succeed with NRT than without it”, or “twice as likely” if the study you select says 3% success for willpower.  In truth, any one-year-success-rate for smoking that comes in at under ten per cent is showing no statistically significant advantage, and therefore isn’t worth a dime of anyone’s money – especially not NHS cash or any other public money,
when it is so badly needed elsewhere.

Claim No. 1:  Two years after I said that craving signals are an aspect of compulsive habits, and nothing to do with nicotine, researchers at the University of Tel Aviv conducted a study which came to exactly the same conclusion:

http://www.aftau.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=12531

Claim No. 2:  Three years after I first claimed that NRT doesn’t work any better than willpower in the long run, and is therefore medically useless, researchers at Harvard University, Massachusetts conducted a study that came to exactly the same conclusion, published this week:

http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2012/01/nicotine-letdown/

 

What have the manufacturers of NRT tried to claim in response?  That “numerous scientific studies show that smokers are twice as likely to succeed with…”   Sorry guys! We’re on to you now.  And we also now know that NRT was originally approved on the basis of its performance at only six weeks, not six months or one year – so it was always bogus.  And here’s why it doesn’t work:

Claim No.3:  Remember where you heard it first.  Nicotine isn’t a drug, it’s a poison.  There’s no high, it doesn’t intoxicate or do
anything much at all, which is why smokers are still allowed to smoke tobacco and drive cars, or smoke tobacco and then fly an aircraft.  It’s not drug taking, it’s just a habit – as indeed Dr Reuven Dar concludes in the Tel Aviv study:

“Dr. Dar’s studies conclude that nicotine is not addictive as physiological addictions are usually defined…  it’s not an addictive substance like heroin, which creates true systemic and biologically-based withdrawal symptoms in the body of the user, he says…

“Once the habit is established, people continue to smoke in response to cues and in situations that become associated with smoking. Dr. Dar believes that understanding smoking as a habit, not an addiction, will facilitate treatment. Smoking cessation techniques should emphasize the psychological and behavioral aspects of the habit and not the biological aspects, he suggests.”

Yes – just as I said in 2008.  But it’ll be a while yet before the world comes to realise that nicotine was never a drug in the first
place.  Science has a bit of catching up to do yet.

How did I know all this, even years before this research was carried out?  Because as a smoking cessation specialist I’ve been shutting
compulsive habits down with hypnotherapy for over a decade, usually in just one session, and without any reference to ‘nicotine receptors’ dopamine levels or any of that half-baked NRT marketing woffle.  I know exactly what I’m doing, and I can explain it all easily.

*Update 18/01/12:  NiQuitin’s latest poster campaign in the UK is quite amusing, they’re not promising much!  “No other patch is more effective”!  No, that’s true.  But “No other patch is effective either” would have been less slippery, whilst being equally true.  Time for the N.H.S. to drop the poison patches, isn’t it folks?  It would immediately save hundreds of millions they could be spending on useful things like kidney dialysis machines and scanners.

If you would like to know more about hypnosis, hypnotherapy and where I’m coming from, it’s all available here.

 

by Chris Holmes

As more smokers become aware that Champix (or Chantix in the U.S.) is not so much a ‘Wonder Drug’ as a ‘Wonder If I’ll Just Get The Nausea, Or If I’ll Have A Complete Personality Change, Murder My Family And Then String Myself Up In The Garage’ sort of a drug, some of them are bound to also wonder if there are ways of quitting smoking that don’t involve gambling with your life.

There certainly are.  Not only that, they have proven to work better than any of the medications in the long run anyway (i.e. at the twelve month follow-up stage, by which time over 80% of Champix users are smoking again.)

Hypnotherapy, the Allen Carr method (which functions as a form of hypnotherapy anyway) and acupuncture all have proven hit-rates that beat the meds.  I have no connection with the last two, as I am a professional hypnotherapist specialising in smoking, alcohol, gambling and drug habits for over a decade… but I recommend them anyway because they have a proven track-record and they are SAFE.  In a moment I will provide some handy tips for anyone considering hypnotherapy.

Acupuncture: The key with this method seems to be to find an experienced practitioner who has worked with the smoking issue a lot.  I don’t pretend to know HOW it works, but it definitely works for some – and as it cannot damage you or make you go crazy it is well worth a shot if you haven’t tried it.  Surely it makes no sense to try any method that involves risk unless you have already tried all the ones that do not.

Allen Carr: He is no longer with us but his books are.  So are the group-therapy franchises that grew out of his own private sessions as a ‘therapist’.  In truth Carr set himself up as a smoking cessation therapist with no formal training of any kind, and one of his successes claimed that “he BORED me into quitting!”  This maybe reflects Carr’s tenacity and unshakeable belief in his own method, plus his tendency to go on a bit!  The group therapy sessions are four to five hours in length, ending with about 15 minutes of “hypnotherapy” from practitioners who are not really hypnotherapists.  The cost was around £250 last time I looked, which was a few years ago.  My advice is to read Carr’s original book first, the one that made him famous.  He self-published it originally, then it went on to sell millions of copies. It’s about six quid, and it’s called “Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking.”

Hypnotherapy:

1) If you have a bad attitude, you’re angry with the world or suspicious by nature and think everyone is out to cheat you, DO NOT ring a hypnotherapist.  You will not respond positively and then you’ll convince yourself it’s THEIR fault!  You COULD start by having therapy to fix your emotional issues, and then succeed normally with the smoking.  That would work, and it would also make you happier.  But it wouldn’t work the other way around.

2) For everyone else, hypnotherapy is the ideal way to ditch the habit effortlessly and with no weight-gain.

3) If the therapist is quoting fees that go over £200, find a different therapist UNLESS: you are rich and famous and/or the practice is located in Harley Street or whatever the equivalent of that is in your country.  (Where all the private doctors who “specialise in diseases of the rich”, as Tom Lehrer put it, have their offices.)

4) Some hypnotherapists will usually aim to do smoking cessation in one session, as I do.  Some don’t, and that’s okay as long as the overall cost of stopping smoking stays within that £100-£200 range.  Do not assume that if you pay top dollar you get the best therapist.  You just get the best-dressed therapist, with a Rolex.  Their overall success-rate won’t be any different to anyone else’s.

5) Your therapist should explain to you, in advance, that hypnotherapy is nothing like the experience you expect it to be.  Most clients are expecting to be asleep, or “away with the fairies” or something.  In fact, you feel perfectly normal.  You don’t “feel hypnotised” at all.  This is important to know in advance, otherwise the client may assume “it’s not working” which can affect their MOOD and therefore the outcome.

6) The ideal mood for hypnotherapy success is LOOKING FORWARD to that success.   A mood of positive, eager anticipation.  So if anything is bothering, worrying or troubling you during the session – anything at all – TELL THE THERAPIST IMMEDIATELY.   Interrupt the proceedings, ask, raise any questions you like.  Then they can deal with it, it won’t be a problem.

7)  The more positive you are, the better the result will be.

8) The more comfortable you are with the therapist, the better the result will be.

9) The more you are looking forward to being rid of tobacco, the quicker you will be.

10)  It does seem like nothing is happening during a hypnotherapy session.  Don’t let that bother you – all hypnotherapy sessions are like that.  You only notice the results afterwards.  ALSO: It does sound as if the hypnotherapist is simply telling you things you know already.  That is because your conscious mind DOES know those things already.  Hypnotherapy is an update for the Subconscious mind – which controls all habitual behaviour – to bring it up to speed with what the conscious mind has already learned.  So I tell all my clients:

“The trance part of the session does seem a bit boring!  And we use quite a bit of repetition when we talk to the Subconscious, so not only does it sound like I’m telling you things you know already, but several times over!  But it gets the job done, and that’s all that really matters.”

It also helps to know: how much clients relax varies enormously and doesn’t matter at all, and that the only thing that really matters is how you feel about what is being said to you about tobacco.  If you are in broad agreement with it, that’s acceptance and success should be immediate.

Finally: don’t ‘test’ the results by trying a cigarette.  Hypnotherapy shuts the habit and the cravings down.  Testing it by smoking simply starts them up again.  Further hypnotherapy will shut them down again, but it is cheaper to let sleeping dogs lie.

more about hypnotherapy  

the book that blew the whistle on the nicotine scam

 

by Chris Holmes

Primary Care Trusts are “failing in their duty of care” in blacklisting 19 drugs on the basis of cost alone, according to a report this week in the Metro newspaper (Thursday 24th November, page 8).  Political Editor John Higginson reports that this “appears to go against the NHS constitution, which gives patients the right to receive any drug recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence if their doctor believes it is clinically appropriate.”

The list includes drugs with proven efficacy in the treatment of cancer and also epilepsy – but the PCTs concerned have decided that these drugs cost too much.

The very same Primary Care Trusts also decided it was perfectly okay to spend £84,000,000 in England alone last year (not the whole of the UK, that figure is even higher) on a treatment service which they know from their own research DOES NOT WORK any better than willpower alone when the results are assessed at one year.  I’m talking about the NHS Stop Smoking Services and particularly the nicotine replacement products which we now know for sure have a 6% success rate at the 12 month stage – exactly the same as willpower.

My suggestion is simple: Take that vast amount of money and spend it on life-saving drug therapies that have been proven to be effective, and leave smoking cessation to experts like myself.  I’m a hypnotherapist by the way, and nearly all my smoking clients have already tried willpower, nicotine gum, patches, lozenges, the little inhalator-thingy… some have tried Zyban and the latest (non) wonder drug Champix… then they come to me, convinced that they “have failed” repeatedly and that it is “really hard to stop smoking”!  No, it’s really hard if you try to do it via the NHS.  It’s really easy with hypnotherapy, provided it’s done well.

But I’m not suggesting the PCTs should fund that.  They should be funding those life-saving drugs, not wasting tens of millions every single year on a service that clearly doesn’t work at all.

the book that blew the whistle on the nicotine scam

by hypnotherapist Chris Holmes

*Update: If you or a loved one has suffered a bad reaction to Champix and you are based in the U.K., you can report it to the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) here. The more people do that the clearer the true picture will become. Protect others! Report it.*

The only reason Champix Chantix was passed by the FDA as if it were safe enough to unleash on the public is because the manufacturer, Pfizer, submitted some trial data showing serious side effects “through the wrong channels” which caused them to be missed in a crucial safety review.  Shortly after this news hit the headlines at the end of May 2011, the French Health Minister stopped public funding for the drug citing safety concerns.  The trouble is, the range of side effects is so wide and unpredictable with this drug that many symptoms are not being attributed quickly enough to the actual cause, which has helped Pfizer to avoid a ban on the drug for far too long.  This heartbreaking story is only one of many, but it is a classic example of damage that has never been offically attributed to Champix:

 

“Hi,

I have read your website several times and even given doctor and Psychiatrists printed off copies to show the effect that this drug is having on people. Nick my 54 year old husband took Champix for 10 days in March 2010, he could not get anymore tablets as the nurse was off sick so decided to do without.( he had stopped smoking).  4 days later I had to ring an ambulance at 4 in the morning as he was going in and out of consciouness, the treatment at the hospital was not good but they kept him in for observations at my insistance but could not find anything wrong so sent him home, I told them about champix but they were not interested.”  [Oh, you can’t TELL them anything, Alyson!  You’re not QUALIFIED! This means your words/opinions count for nothing, it’s part of their medical training to just assume we’re all deluded idiots – Ed.]
“Over the next few weeks things got a lot worse, Nick found it difficult to walk, talk, write… he had severe muscle spasms and involuntary muscle movements, he had balance problem and short term memory problems, his behaviour became quite childlike and his brakes were off, he said exactly what he thought. Things came to a head when it was raining and Nick was in the garden in his underwear. I rang our doctor and asked to go private to see someone, she arranged for us to go to hospital, they did all the tests blood, urine, scans, spinal tap but still could find no reason for this to happen, they suggested that Nick saw a psychiatrist, he has been seeing him since June this year, he has said that he can find no reason for Nick’s problems and has passed it back to the hospital.”
“At present Nick suffers short term memory loss, a change in personality and cognitive ability, he takes everything you say literally, he has no awareness of danger and has developed tourretism and obsessive behaviour (touching dotes) he still has balance problems and difficulty walking and gets tired easily.”

“At our last doctor’s appointment I told the doctor I believe that Nick is having fits between a few seconds and a minute we are trying to get a diagnosis and have an appointment with a senior neurologist at the end of this month. Our Gp has told them our suspicions so perhaps this time someone will listen. How can somone go from a normal man working as a carer to this for no reason and the only thing that changed was that he took champix, we are now on 8 months and things are still not getting better, if you met Nick you would think he had learning difficulties.
I am so frustrated that no one will admit what has caused it and because they will not or cannot diagnose it we can not get any allowances to help look after him. I work full time and betweem my family and myself we look after him.”

“If I could turn back time I would but as its not possible I will just keep going and hope someone will take responsibilty and try to stop this drug harming anyone else.  I will always be here for Nick but this company hid certain results to get this drug licensed they need to be stopped.”

 

Yes.  Pfizer need to be stopped, Doc.

14 Days on Champix ruined my life

Champix/Chantix 6

the book that blew the whistle on the nicotine scam

by hypnotherapist Chris Holmes

*Update: If you or a loved one has suffered a bad reaction to Champix and you are based in the U.K., you can report it to the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) here. The more people do that the clearer the true picture will become. Protect others! Report it.*

Today I met someone who was successful with Champix.  This person had come to me for weight loss, and some of that weight gain had been as a result of stopping smoking.  The young woman – let’s call her Lucy – reported that although she had taken a course of Champix in 2010, and it “did nothing at all”, this year she was really determined and had told herself that: “This time the tablets WILL work… this time I’m definitely going to stop smoking!”  And indeed she did.

So – presumably – the first time around she did NOT tell herself that.  Maybe that’s why the tablets “did nothing at all”.  And – presumably – the tablets were made to the exact same specifications as the 2010 batch… dosage was the same, length of course the same… indeed the only factor that was different was her mental attitude and the positive suggestions she was giving herself.

Positive suggestions and mental attitude are what hypnotherapy are all about.  Essentially we do the same sort of thing but without the tablets, AND we include therapy to prevent the weight gain, which is easily avoided if your hypnotherapist knows what they’re doing.  I’ll soon reverse Lucy’s weight gain anyway, but we could have done the lot in one go if she’d come here in the first place.

But that’s not what prompted me to write this post.  What prompted me to write it was the realisation that Lucy was the first of my clients ever to report lasting success with Champix.  True, it had only been four months so far, but she was pretty confident she had it licked and I had no reason to doubt this.  Now, I meet a lot of smokers and ex-smokers in the course of my work, and of course we talk about these things all the time, regardless of what the session today is actually about, so I had to wonder why – four years after Champix was made available in the UK – a “wonder drug with a 50% success rate”, we were told – this was the first smoker I had ever met, professionally or socially, that reckoned they had quit successfully with Champix and without side effects.

I’ve met loads that haven’t succeeded with Champix, and about half of them said they had to stop taking it because it made them ill.

So when people contact the Truth Will Out site (occasionally) to report that they and their partner and their neighbour and all their 27 friends have successfully quit with Chantix or Champix… (and that all of them had previously tried hypnotherapy and failed! despite the fact that less than 1% of the population have ever consulted a hypnotherapist about ANYTHING)… I might be forgiven for doubting this tale, and wondering if this message really comes from some liar who sells Champix over the internet and is a bit worried about sales being not what they were now that smokers are beginning to twig that this “wonder drug” isn’t any better than the last one (Zyban), but it does seem to be WAY more harmful and unpredictable.

safer alternative

by Chris Holmes

Update, 19/08/11: Check this out, from The British Medical Journal!  Could it finally be the admission we have been waiting for these last few years, that NHS Smoking Cessation services are an abject failure and those millions would be better used elsewhere within the NHS?

 

Question: What does the NHS mean by “success rate”?

Answer: If any smoker reports to the NHS Stop Smoking Services that they have not smoked for 4 weeks, they are counted as a “success”.

Yet the UK Department of Health have known since the results of the Borland report were published several years ago that the actual outcome of NHS Stop Smoking Services when the results are reviewed at one year is 6% – exactly the same as willpower alone, and well within the normal placebo range.  This means that the NHS Stop Smoking Services don’t increase smokers’ chances by any significant margin and are therefore a complete waste of valuable NHS resources.

The main aim of the Truth Will Out Campaign over the last three and a half years has been to warn smokers that they are being led a merry dance by the Department of Health, and it is still going on:

Metro News, Wednesday August 17 2011

MORE TRY TO STOP SMOKING ON NHS

“More smokers are trying to quit but success rates have fallen, figures show.  The number trying to kick the habit has trebled in the past ten years to 788,000 – but the success rate of 49 per cent in 2010/11 is down from 53% a decade earlier.”

Ah, but you see it never was 53%, or anything like that.  That doesn’t count as a success rate if the Department of Health already know – but aren’t telling smokers – that this dwindles away to only 6% at one year, which is exactly the same as willpower anyway.  And don’t you think that if all smokers were aware of that fact, it is extremely unlikely that 788,000 smokers would be wasting their time with those stupid, pointless methods in the first place – not to mention the collossal waste of money, as the Metro reports:

“In England, £84.3 million was spent on NHS Stop Smoking Services in 2010/11.”

I first denounced this as a criminal waste of precious NHS resources here on this site in March 2008, providing all the documentary evidence (see Evidence) necessary to prove that what I’m saying is true, and the response of the UK Department of Health has been to waste a further £250,000,000 on it since then.  Actually it is way more than that, because the above figure is for England alone.

How many extra surgeons, scanners or dialysis machines could be bought with that, Minister?  But no, you’d rather keep gifting it to drug companies for zero actual benefit, and we have to ask ourselves why the hell that is?  No, better still let’s ask you: “Why the hell are you doing that, Minister?”

The Usual Tripe

Whenever any spokesperson from the NHS, the BMA, N.I.C.E. or the DoH is obliged to comment on this, they simply refer to the Stock Answers For Radio/TV/Newspapers manual, which is getting a bit dog-eared now but they still hold onto it as it seems to have always done the trick in the past.  Firstly, they solemnly draw attention to how many people die from smoking in the U.K. every year.  This ploy is twofold: firstly it suggests that anyone objecting to what the government is doing about this must be highly irresponsible because clearly, something must be done, whilst the solemn tone suggests that “We, the sober authorities are surely the ones to fix this” – even though they plainly haven’t, despite funnelling vast sums of public money into the project for a whole decade.  As the report in the Metro notes:

“Some 22 per cent of men and 20 per cent of women are smokers, similar to previous years.”

Folks, this NHS Stop Smoking programme was started by the Blair government in 2001.  It has been running for ten years and fraudulently boasting upwards of 50% average success rates all along, with hundreds of thousands of smokers being duped into taking part with scandalous misinformation about actual outcomes, yet the percentage of smokers in the UK today is: “similar to previous years”!

£84 million is a lot of TAXPAYERS’ money – that’s just England, and only the cost of the last twelve months of this ten year farce.  53% was always a totally misleading suggestion as an outcome and so is 49%.  The real outcome is around 6%, and that cannot be called a ‘success’ rate when the smoker’s own willpower creates the same outcome.  There is no scientific justification for any of this expenditure, and the Department of Health knows this, so they are deliberately setting out to mislead the public about the real situation, and the government have been endorsing that for years now.

So, rather than admit the error and pull the plug – freeing up valuable resources for other vital areas of the NHS – the Official Solemn Spokesperson will firstly tell the readers/listeners/viewers how many smokers are dying every year, then boast about how much of our money they have wasted on those NHS services – a great deal of which goes straight into drug company coffers, like so much of the NHS’s resources.  (The NHS drugs bill is now over £10 billion a year.)   They never breathe a word about the Borland report’s findings of 94% failure at one year, but woffle on instead about “numerous scientific studies” which they claim have “demonstrated the effectiveness” of nicotine products, Zyban, Champix etc. BUT WITHOUT TELLING YOU that they are referring exclusively to SHORT TERM RESULTS.  It’s deception, pure and simple – and it’s a standard script, cropping up all over the place in newspapers, on radio and TV and on the internet.

Short-term results being hyped as “success rates” – it’s standard practice now, and it is not scientific at all, it is pure marketing but the creepy bit is that it is evidently being sustained with the blessing of medical authorities and the government.  We’ve already seen how politicians were afraid to take on Rupert Murdoch because he grew too powerful, and how his malign influence corrupted decision-making with regard to takeover bids and even criminal behaviour like bribery.  This is the same sort of thing, because drug companies having grown so powerful that no-one in government wants to upset them, and it has corrupted the BMA, NICE, the MHRA, the NHS and the DoH.   Did you know that Nicotine Replacement products were originally approved on the basis of their performance at just SIX WEEKS?  That’s not an accurate measure of real outcomes, in fact it proved very misleading!  How many smokers know about that?  How many DOCTORS know that?

Drug company products are usually referred to as “evidence-based” medicine, but all the evidence is that it doesn’t work any better than willpower in the long run, and the difference between 53% and 6% is so huge that this is a very clear case of the NHS and Department of Health seriously misleading the public about the effectiveness of those services.  Isn’t that illegal?

The “something must be done” suggestion is bogus: the NHS is strapped for cash – how much more could be done with those resources by other services within the NHS to prevent suffering and save lives if all this money wasn’t being wasted on a project which is a total failure in reality?

This is a massive fraud, and it is costing lives.  And if you, or anyone you know actually stopped smoking whilst using those services – believe me, the scientific evidence is, you did it with willpower really.  And that ain’t worth £84 million of anyone’s money, is it?

 

A Post Script

For years, the government used the Ferguson report to justify this expenditure, which arrived at a “success rate” of 15% at one year.  I have studied carefully all the reports the Department of Health quoted in response to my enquiries as to the scientific basis of this vast expenditure.  None of them justify it, and it turned out that the Ferguson report had to disqualify a whole bunch of the original sample of smokers to arrive at 15% “success”.  They were disqualified on the basis of socio-economic factors – i.e. they were the people the authors of the report pre-judged were least likely to stop smoking, so they eliminated them before assessing the outcomes!  That’s not science, Minister – that’s spin.

All along, I have said it was 94% failure, same as willpower alone.  The Borland report confirmed it – but incredibly, STILL concluded that this expenditure was worthwhile and should be continued!  A blatant case of the drug companies getting their own way REGARDLESS of what the actual evidence is.

Sometimes I have been dismissed as being a ‘conspiracy theorist’, but only by people who don’t like what I’m saying.  Do they challenge my evidence?  No, because it is entirely based on government reports.  Do they think that smokers should not be told that the science clearly shows that NRT doesn’t improve their chances and the rest is just marketing which cynically sticks to very short-term results, which are very poor anyway?  Do they really think the status quo should be carried on for another decade?  Why?  Who would be in favour of that, except those who profit from it?

That’s not a conspiracy theory.  It’s old-fashioned, dishonest-to-badness corruption – which any knucklehead can understand.  As straightforward and not-very-surprising as MPs fiddling their expenses and police officers being paid cash by a media tycoon for inside information.  Did anyone think THAT should go on for another ten years?  NO!

So – where’s MY parliamentary enquiry, Minister?

the book that blew the whistle on the nicotine scam

 

 

 

by Chris Holmes

This message came in by email the other day:

Austrian Smokers rights wrote:
Tobaco is a wonderful indian ritual and healing plant: would you please take this skul and bones of “nicotine”; and replace it by Chmapix or NicVax the killing vaccines.

thanks
chritsine

Now, Austrian Smokers’ Rights have had a little pop at me before, for the same reason that the Ashtray Blog bloke did, who is a devotee of the electronic cigarette… because I had the temerity to suggest that nicotine is just a useless poison.  Poisons are usually denoted by the symbol of the skull and crossbones, so it seems appropriate.  True, the same symbol should be on the Champix packaging in my view – I’ll suggest it to Pfizer’s Head of Marketing next time we meet up for a beer.  NicVax I know nothing about – yet.  But the idea that a vaccine will fix a compulsive habit like smoking seems very dubious to me.

As for tobacco being “a wonderful indian ritual and healing plant”, that is an unusually positive view of it nowadays, to say the least!  But if Christine is assuming that I am anti-tobacco or anti-smoking, she hasn’t read much of this site and has missed the point of it.  I’m not pro-tobacco, but I am very liberal about what people do to themselves, even if it kills them.  Mountaineering kills people, but I wouldn’t sign a petition to get it banned, would you?

Just because something is used in a ritual doesn’t mean it has any useful aspect to it.  Humans and animals have both been sacrificed in rituals in the past, but that doesn’t make human or animal sacrifice a worthy thing.  Rituals are not necessarily a good thing anyway, because they are simply repetiton of an act without questioning it, which can lead to all kinds of mad mucking about: look at that daft nonsense with Black Rod and the opening of the English Parliament – how silly is that?

Tobacco might possibly inhibit the development of Alzheimers, and prevent endometrial cancer.  But the list of diseases it causes is far longer than that, so it certainly isn’t healthy to smoke tobacco, and the vast majority of the tobacco smoked in the world is certainly not part of any ritual, indian or otherwise.  It’s just a dirty and rather pointless habit, but if anyone wants to smoke it that’s fine by me.

The whole point of this site is to denounce Nicotine Replacement Therapy as a scam which the Department of Health already know from their own research doesn’t work any better than willpower in the long run.  I’m also calling for Champix to be banned, because anyone with half a brain can easily see that it should be.

My book is the first to explain what cravings really are, and why they have no connection to nicotine whatsoever.  It also explains how we hypnotherapists routinely shut down all kinds of cravings without any difficulty just about every working day of our lives, including smokers’ cravings.

I didn’t write the book for the Austrian Smokers’ Rights group, though.  I wrote it for any ordinary smoker who would like to quit but hasn’t found that easy, and anyone who is interested in hypnotherapy and the Subconscious mind.  So the skull and crossbones stay, no apologies.

the book that blew the whistle on the nicotine scam