New Studies Back the Truth Will Out Campaign on Nicotine

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.

 

The British Broadcasting Corporation

Forget The Journalists

I was contacted by the BBC back in December, they were doing a radio programme about current smoking policy and questioning the validity of Nicotine Replacement Poisoning and all that, and wanted me to take part. The Producer had read my book, and really liked it. So I went and did an interview, which they assured me afterwards went very well. (I know: they say that to everybody!) Then it went very quiet, and I sent a couple of emails that didn’t get answered. The radio show is being broadcast today. And today I finally got a reply.

Guess what? I’m not in it!

This is the fourth time that I have been approached, and then before anything is actually broadcast, ditched – by media organisations. And it’s the last. Of course I got a detailed ‘explanation’ as to why, but the fact is I don’t care. I’m wasting my time with these people.

I’m not even disappointed, it’s pretty much what I expected at this point. As this is the fourth time journalists have approached me, then backed right off because I’m actually calling the Department of Health, A.S.H. and the drug companies a bunch of fraudsters who are knowingly wasting huge amounts of public money and carefully lying about it – and I can prove it – well, journalists are not in a position to deal in terminology like that. So I’ve had enough of talking to them.

I’m not a campaigner by nature. I’ve never done anything like this before, so it’s a learning process. And what I’ve learned is: don’t waste your time with journalists. They’re not interested in the real issue, they’re just constructing “items” for the shows (or rags) they knock together, and it’s pretty formulaic. I know how it works, I spent six years teaching a course on television production at Manchester Metropolitan University. I’ve been on TV numerous times (not in connection with this Campaign), and it’s all good fun. But that’s all it is.

The Producer of The Radio Show I Was Never On asked me if I wanted an audio copy of the show anyway, because she would “value my feedback on it”.

That made me feel very special. So I said: “Thank you very much”, and “no”. I already knew who else they had on the show, and I already know what all those people would say, because I’ve heard it all before. In fact the only bit that the listeners wouldn’t have heard before was the bit I contributed, which was why it didn’t really fit in.

Fact is, the internet is where all the real, edgy debate is now. The BBC is like the NHS: no-one who values their job can speak out, they’ve got to cover their own arses and let’s face it, the BBC is totally reliant on the government of the day to keep on approving the licence fee, so…

So: bye bye BBC. It’s been… well, pretty much what I expected, really!

the book that blew the whistle on the nicotine scam

Central Hypnotherapy

Champix for New Zealand next

 

*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.*

Calling all smokers in New Zealand, and their loved ones: this is what is heading your way in November 2010 **Update December 2010: it’s already approved, but New Zealanders need to be warned about taking Champix:

“…the crashing wave of deep and dark depression, bursting into tears for no reason at all, the feeling of no light in the world and that nobody would even care if you were gone and worst of them all the belief that that low dark feeling was something that could only be fixed by taking your own life. Ive just lived this hell after taking Champix for a mere 4 weeks, first 3 were fine but wow that 4th week and i roller-coasted from ready to punch someone in the face for talking too loudly to wanting to floor my car 200 kms into a wall. I had read online about people reactions before mine kicked in and honestly thought everyone was a nut-job bad mouthing a drug that worked as i had stopped smoking and felt great, but let me tell anyone who reads this and brushes off the more extreme sounding posts IT IS NO JOKE. I went from wanting to simply give up smoking one week to sitting in a mental health clinic 4 weeks later continually in disbelief at how the hell i managed to end up there.” (Andrew)

This is becoming a matter of urgent concern to smokers anywhere, but particularly any smokers in New Zealand, following a story in the New Zealand Herald concerning the approval of public funding for Champix despite concerns about suicides linked to the drug – a story which partially reveals the kind of dodgy deals drug companies do with governments to push them into accepting things they’re not altogether happy about. In this case Champix was sold as part of a package including a number of drugs, and the suggestion is that the NZ government could not get those drugs at that price without taking Champix as well – a sharp practice that should frankly be illegal where medications are concerned, especially a medication that has already been linked to deaths, which is exactly what the former hesitation was about. Particularly suspect is the fact that the New Zealand government drug funding body Pharmac has apparently changed its mind about Champix for no good reason at all – see extract below from NZ Herald.co.nz:

“Pharmac medical director Peter Moody said medical advisers had “cautiously endorsed” the use of Champix.

The agency is calling for public submissions on the package deal from Pfizer before the taxpayer subsidy kicks in on November 1.

“Quite often [drug] companies will offer as a package a number of medications at the same time. We will look at the total deal and look at the benefits we’re getting.”

He said package deals meant all the drugs from the company had to be taken. “You can’t cherry pick.”

A Pharmac spokesman said the price reduction on Champix had been agreed and “in return for that we get two new products and wider access to one other product”.

A spokeswoman for Pfizer said the package deal was suggested by Pharmac, rather than the other way around. The drug company had submitted four separate applications to get the drugs funded.

She said the benefits of Champix outweighed the risks. The subsidy meant “more people will be able to access Champix to improve their chances of quitting smoking”.

Pharmac had twice considered backing Champix but rejected the move because of safety concerns.

Pharmac papers stated that it “appears increasingly likely that there is an association between varenicline [Champix] and serious neuro-psychiatric events”.

It also questioned whether Champix was as successful as nicotine replacement therapies.”

Yeah – quite right too: although earlier in the piece reporter David Fisher described Champix as: “a hugely successful drug used to quit smoking” which is “estimated to be successful in up to half the cases in which people use it to try to stop smoking”, in fact it is nothing of the kind. Long term success rates are about 14% for Champix, about the same as Zyban and only a little higher than Nicotine Replacement Poisoning, which might be pretty useless but at least it doesn’t make anyone kill themselves.

Put simply, this drug should NOT be approved for public funding in New Zealand because the success rate is pure hype and there are smokers alive and well in New Zealand today who will be dead within the year if the drug is made widely available. That means husbands and wives becoming bereaved single parents, kids left without a mum or a dad – and all because of cynical drug company lies and corruption. While there’s still time, I’m going to try to draw attention to this crazy decision and hopefully the innocent smokers of New Zealand can yet be saved from having the same evil stunt pulled on them as the innocent Champix victims in the USA, the UK and Australia.

Hypnotherapy is the best method for smoking cessation: New Scientist magazine

Here’s the NZ Herald article in full

Actual failure rate for Champix here.

18.09.10: I received this message by email, here it is in full:

Andrew wrote:
“Chris, i stumbled onto your site while looking up the side effects or as the Drs
have since told me “adverse effects” of Champix, i immediatly found
solace in the fact that many people’s descriptions matched mine, the crashing
wave of deep and dark depression, bursting into tears for no reason at all, the
feeling of no light in the world and that nobody would even care if you were
gone and worst of them all the belief that that low dark feeling was something
that could only be fixed by taking your own life. Ive just lived this hell after
taking Champix for a mere 4 weeks, first 3 were fine but wow that 4th week and i
roller-coasted from ready to punch someone in the face for talking to loudly to
wanting to floor my car 200 kms into a wall. I had read online about people
reactions before mine kicked in and honestly thought everyone was a nut-job bad
mouthing a drug that worked as i had stopped smoking and felt great, but let me
tell anyone who reads this and brushes off the more extreme sounding posts IT IS
NO JOKE. I went from wanting to simply give up smoking one week to sitting in a
mental health clinic 4 weeks later continually in disbelief at how the hell i
managed to end up there.

Now that Ive had my say to people who don’t believe it happens i want to give
every person that has fallen into that deep depression and suicidal thoughts
that have searched the web for info some hope and a true light at the end of the
tunnel because it was the one thing i was searching for but did not find. The
cause of your feelings is 100% Champix related and your brain WILL experience
happiness and normal thinking again, everyone’s neurotransmitters work
differently but what Ive found is however long it actually took the Champix to
work will roughly decide how long your brain takes to return to normal. Im no Dr
by any means but i was prescribed a low dosage of Valium / diazepan to
“take the edge off” from my Dr who told me in his experience giving
anti depressants not only didn’t work with champix related depression but in
some cases made it worse. Let me tell you the Valium worked to kill the anxiety
that came from continually thinking about killing myself and within a few days
the thoughts the anger and those messed up dreams stopped. So please if your
having the side effects as extreme as some i urge you to see your Dr or if your
in Australia get a referral to the mental access team through the various
Hospitals they helped me so much and i owe them my life literally. Scarily
enough their own words to me were you aren’t the first and you definitely wont
be the last to suffer this from Champix. I implore anyone considering this drug
to really think hard as it seems the chances of you successfully quitting aren’t
far ahead of the chance you’ll be sitting in a psyche ward as i did, even as bad
as cold turkey can feel its not even 1/1000 of how bad the reaction that i
experienced is. My only wish is to spread this exact message through as many
blogs and info sites about bad reactions to Champix, Chris feel free to use my
post anywhere you like, people suffering the effects NEED to see that there is
light at the end of this black tunnel.”

There are many more disturbing accounts like this in the Champix Chantix blog section of this site, and on many other blogs on the web. My urgent advice to smokers is to read around before deciding whether to try this medication.

safer alternative

Champix Chantix: Legal action, class actions, suing Pfizer

*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.*

by Chris Holmes

Several times I have been asked about the options for suing Pfizer – the manufacturer of Champix Chantix – for damages over the horrific side effects some smokers taking the drug have suffered.  Such claims are already under way.  Lawyers in the USA and Canada are offering advice on this and this is only the beginning.

I cannot give any kind of legal advice, and I will refrain from commenting on the matter too because that is not my area of expertise.  I do believe that what we are now seeing is only the tip of the iceberg though, so if you have an interest in these matters you can expect the relevant facts to be changing as time progresses.  Just a few links that you might find useful to begin with, after which I advise you to use the search engines to find out more:

http://www.docken.com/

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Three+women+file+class+action+lawsuit+over+Pfizer+quit+smoking+drug/2686782/story.html

http://www.aboutlawsuits.com/chantix-160/

http://www.aboutlawsuits.com/topics/champix/

http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2008/07/10/widow-sues-pfizer-over-chantix-after-husbands-suicide/

http://www.furiousseasons.com/movabletype/mt-comments.cgi?entry_id=1134

http://www.uslaw.com/lawsuits/Chantix+Suicide?itemid=5

http://www.topix.com/forum/health/bipolar-disorder/THQ07G6LQAHTSM8OV

Other Useful Stuff:

Central Hypnotherapy

The Drug That Never Was

Advertising Standards Slam Bogus NHS Claim

by Chris Holmes

The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) have blocked an NHS advertising leaflet which claimed that smokers were “twice as likely” to quit with Nicotine Replacement products and “four times as likely” to quit if they also used NHS Stop Smoking Services. For the very first time since the Truth Will Out Campaign was launched, the claims have been rejected because quitting success implies a permanent solution but the NHS were relying on the results at only four weeks, which the agency concluded was not the same thing at all, and was therefore likely to mislead the public.

I’ll say it is. And since we now know from the Borland report that the results dwindle to 6% success at the end of twelve months, which is the same result as a number of studies have found for willpower alone, we feel vindicated in claiming that NRT doesn’t work at all in the long run, and is therefore a complete waste of taxpayers’ money and the NHS should abandon it altogether. Instead they’re going to waste more valuable resources printing up leaflets that say something like: “Did you know that nicotine skin patches and chewing gum can be effective in aiding withdrawal from nicotine?” (The bit in bold type is a direct quote from the British Medical Association’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary, Dorling Kindersley 2002.)  And now over to the March Hare, for the weather…

Here’s the link to the ASA story:

The Argus

**Update, January 2012: Harvard University publish a study that demonstrates NO USEFUL EFFECT from any form of NRT.  Just as I said in the book in 2007, and on this site from March 2008.

Hypnotherapy is the easiest way of all to quit smoking, and despite the best efforts of Edzard Ernst to suggest otherwise, we will establish this as scientific fact and common knowledge in the end.  The sooner the better.  Nicotine: The Drug That Never Was fully explains the reasons for the complete failure of the medical approach and exactly how hypnotherapy wipes out compulsive habits like smoking, usually in a single session. As it says in the book, there is no such thing as “therapeutic nicotine”. Give it up, Doc.

more info about hypnotherapy for smoking cessation

The Trials of Edzard Ernst

Show me a hundred different scientific studies into the efficacy (or lack thereof) of any kind of therapy.  Will they all produce more or less the same findings?  No.  But why not?  If the randomised controlled trial (RCT) is the gold standard of assessment, surely it will just come up with truth, will it not?  Isn’t this the reason that Ernst says “Don’t shoot the messenger!” as if he didn’t play any personal role in producing those findings whatsoever, and his followers will point to his publications and say: “The science says…”

Almost as if “the science” just does itself, and Ernst’s role is rather like that of the sorcerer’s apprentice: once he has set it in motion he has no influence over the process or the outcomes…

And indeed this would be the case with all scientists, would it not?  It’s just pure science, and it simply reveals pure truth.  That’s the idea, that’s the suggestion whenever we have one study or another shoved under our noses by the cynics.  So if the cynics were right about CAM therapists – that we’re all just quacks – then all the scientific studies that have already been done (not just Ernst’s activities) would have demonstrated this beyond all doubt, would they not?  What would there be left to say?  Why bother paying him any longer? 

Back in the Real World

Of course the cynics are not suggesting that ALL scientific studies are just revealing pure truth!  How could they be, when some of them produce ‘findings’ that seem to confirm their prejudices, and some do not!  Clearly they cannot ALL be right!  So it becomes necessary to find crucial errors in the way some of those studies were designed or conducted, or the interpretation of the results…

“Really?  That can happen in Science?”

“Oh yes, but don’t worry!  Don’t lose your faith in the RCT and the Scientific Way!  If the results aren’t what we want them to be, clearly we need to do the Science differently until we get the results right!”  

For how likely is it, really, that the cynic’s PREJUDICES might be wrong in the first place?  Exactly, that couldn’t happen, because a cynic knows everything already and most especially knows for sure that anyone who doesn’t agree with them is wrong. So there is never any need to question The Science That Says The Right Thing (bless the messenger), only the Bad Science That Says The Wrong Thing (denounce the author, attack the methodology, the interpretation… call people nasty names…) yeah that’s way more scientific.  In fact the entire history of Science is full of that sort of abusive slanging match… and that’s just how scientists talk to each other, they have even less regard for people who are prepared to think outside of scientific paradigms.  Those are just Voodoo People, and should probably be burned or something.

Science says Nothing

“The Science” says nothing, mainly because there is no such thing as “The Science”.  This doesn’t make science useless, of course it doesn’t.  But it does mean that with any kind of study you read about in The Daily Rag, if you don’t know who funded it, what they are trying to achieve and whether this is part of a wider programme which hasn’t been mentioned deliberately in the press release or whether there were other trials which the authors of the press release decided not to tell The Daily Rag about because they contradict the trials that Say The Right Thing… then you only know what the press release says.

All the questions I raised about Ernst, and how on Earth he ever came to occupy that position are perfectly valid, but I know we’ll never get answers that haven’t just come from a fawning interview with an adoring hack or some dodgy press release that came from the Ernst camp anyway.  And I really can’t be bothered to exchange another pointless word with the cynics who don’t even understand the difference between skepticism and cynicism.  It is impossible to communicate in any useful way with any person who has convinced themselves before the conversation even starts that you must be a fraud, a fantasist or an idiot because you don’t already agree with them.

So I thought I’d do one last post about the boring old duffer but every time I considered it, it just seemed like a chore.  Somewhere along the line I realised that although I found it very annoying at first that he said things about hypnotherapy that were totally wrong, he’s really just another dull academic who knows nothing about it.   The fact that someone decided he could have a title that makes it sound like he’s knowledgable is irrelevant, he remains a nobody in the field of complementary therapy, his own university don’t even seem to like him, just about everything he says is negative and no ordinary member of the public I’ve ever mentioned him to has heard of him at all, so although he’s beloved by a few hacks and a small platoon of cynics, the rest of the world could not give a toss.

Therefore: neither do I.

Are Medical Authorities Secretly Reading This?

by Chris Holmes

Since the launch of this site in March 2008 I have been urging medical authorities to press governments to do something about the madness of ‘internet pharmacies’ from which people can buy prescription medications without any doctors or prescriptions being involved.  Occasionally I had heard people like Dr Chris Steele ( a TV Doctor here in the U.K.) gently warning the public that some of the medicines might be fake, and that is why it’s not a good idea.

That is just one of the reasons it is not a good idea. Someone just deciding that they could do with some Valium, some hydrocodone and maybe some anti-depressants but they can’t be bothered to consult a medical professional about whether or not that’s safe or appropriate… but they have a credit card, and the people who push drugs on the internet have certainly got the greed if not the scruples to be concerned that their customer might be about to end up like Heath Ledger… these are some of the other reasons that internet drug shops are not a good idea.

Anyway I have suggested a number of times that the medical profession should be very seriously concerned about this and move to oppose it, mainly because it is dangerous and unethical but also because if people don’t need a prescription they might soon conclude that they don’t need doctors either, or that they can be their own doctor now by reading up about their condition on the internet and simply buying a treatment – without any objective, experienced, wise or properly-qualified opinion being involved.

I know a lot of people read this website, in fact it is increasing all the time.  Some of those people are smokers.  Some are therapists.  I know this because they send me comments and messages, some for publication on the site.  As yet, no doctor has ever sent me a message of any description via the Truth Will Out site, although I do have some contact with doctors and other medical people through my hypnotherapy practice.  (I even did some work for the NHS last year – unheard of!)  But that doesn’t mean medical folk never read this stuff.

So I was interested to see a new billboard, whilst travelling in to the office this morning, featuring a corpse on a gurney in what I suppose was an autopsy room, covered over with a sheet.   It said “You might pay with more than a credit card, if you buy medications on the internet.”  Then the slogan: Get Real – Get a Prescription.

Elsewhere on this site I have mentioned alarming figures about the harm done by medications that have been prescribed by doctors anyway, but I think it is important to get these things in perspective. I don’t expect everyone to turn away from drug therapies and embrace alternative therapies en masse – nor should they.  It would be a much better idea to establish which methods are genuinely most useful and safest for the wide variety of symptoms requiring treatment, so people can benefit from all forms of therapy, not just drug treatments.

But I certainly don’t want to see doctors being edged out of the picture by the drug industry via internet drug shops, so it is nice to see somebody is finally doing something about it.  It’s not enough, but it’s a start and I really welcome that.  Well done, whoever is behind that one.  Good on you.  Doctors are not expendable, and when I got that email last year from an internet pharmacy that was titled: “Prescriptions are a thing of the past!” I just had to write about that (See Posting Comments 2 if you want to read it).

It may be, of course, that the people behind this new billboard campaign just came to the same conclusions as I did, without reading any of my ranting about it here on the Truth Will Out site.  But if so, they took a hell of a long time to come to that conclusion considering that these drug shops have been flogging dangerous drugs for years now, and although none of that affects me directly it certainly affects them.  And also, although I wrote the original rant about that back in June 2008, according to my stats package it remains, surprisingly, the most frequently read page on the site after the homepage.

Now, that’s not because of any links that I’m aware of, so it does suggest that people are sending that link quietly to each other.  And people do have to have a shared interest in that subject to do that, don’t they?  So that rules out smokers and hypnotherapists for a start.

So – hope you’re keeping well, Doc.  All the best.

Chantix Champix Kills, but A.S.H. Won’t Tell The Smokers

by 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.*

It’s not just doctors that are failing to warn smokers about the more deadly serious side-effects of Champix Chantix.  The so-called “public health charity” Action on Smoking and Health (A.S.H.) have conspicuously failed to update their advice to smokers and health professionals in the light of all the horror-stories over the past eighteen months, choosing instead to take their lead from N.I.C.E., the National Institute for Clinical Excellence, who don’t seem to have updated their recommendations about Chantix Champix since 2007.

N.I.C.E. seem to have adopted the position that “Clinical Excellence” means taking forever and a day to even acknowledge the fact that a medication is causing unnecessary deaths, and then to not really do anything about it anyway, except perhaps issue some “new guidelines”.  If the guidelines are ignored by G.P.s they wring their hands and say it is “unacceptable”, and that’s about it.

Put simply, these people don’t really care if Chantix Champix kills you.  Or your mother, or your best friend, or your son. Not enough to actually do anything about it anyway.  They won’t withdraw any medications just because it becomes obvious that prescribing them significantly increases the risk of serious illness or death.  They won’t even do anything about it if they know for sure that dangerous medications are being routinely mis-prescribed.

Here comes the Science Bit

Witness the atypical anti-psychotic drugs like Olanzapine and Quetiapine which last year were reckoned – in a conservative estimate, since these were only the fatalities that were officially reported – to have killed 700 people in the previous five years in the U.K. alone.  Of the estimated 150,000 elderly patients being precribed these drugs, somewhere between 70,000 and 100,000 shouldn’t be, according to the Director of Research for the Alzheimers Society, Professor Clive Ballard of Kings College London.  Commenting on this on BBC Radio 4’s File on 4 programme in June 2008, N.I.C.E.’s reviewer of the use of these medications, Dr Tim Kendall said that in his opinion, doctors mis-prescribing such dangerous medications should be disciplined by the General Medical Council.

Well, they haven’t been.  So now, more than one year on, more prescriptions, more deaths, no-one held responsible, no-one about to be held responsible.

This isn’t Clinical Excellence.  It is a Licence to Kill.

Back to The Great Chantix Champix Experiment

Given this incredibly lax system, why should GP’s trouble themselves to find out whether the drugs they have been advised to prescribe actually have horrific side-effects such as severe psychiatric disturbances which can lead to suicide?  Why should they be anxious about it?  Nothing is going to happen to the GP if he or she loses an elderly patient to Olanzapine or a smoker to Chantix Champix.

Only this morning a woman who has been a contributor to this blog on a number of occasions, Jane, emailed me to tell me how her doctor had just offered her Champix again, despite the fact she had a bad reaction to it the last time.  He apparently knew little about the suicides and other severe side effects, so she directed him to this site right then, during the consultation.

Do you get this, A.S.H.?  Are you appreciating the astonishing and horrifying irony of this, N.I.C.E.?  I’M EDUCATING DOCTORS, NOW. ME, A HYPNOTHERAPIST. They’re having to find out from Truth Will Out about the horrors that Chantix Champix can inflict upon their patients, because you aren’t making it clear enough or acting fast enough, and it’s all because you are way too close to the drug companies to have the patients’ best interests at heart.

Cash In on Smoking and Health

Action on Smoking and Health (A.S.H.) are officially a public health charity.  According to their own official story, they came into existence because “a group of concerned doctors” were unhappy that not enough was being done by the Department of Health to deal with the smoking issue.  All very commendable, you might think – so you would then expect that the safety and health of smokers was their main concern and anything that could be proven to help smokers quit consistently would be championed by them.

Not so.  Only drug company products are championed by them, and they routinely mislead smokers about all alternative methods (see the Evidence section of this site).  In November of 2007, the then Director of ASH Deborah Arnott was forced to apologise to The Allen Carr Easyway International organisation for rubbishing their claims to a 53% success rate with smokers at twelve-month follow-up… a success rate far higher than any of the drug methods ASH routinely promote.

So she apologised.  And agreed to pay Easyway’s legal costs for the case.  Did she then direct ASH to start recommending the superior, and now proven Easyway method?  No, they continue to completely ignore it, which proves that they do NOT have the interests of smokers at heart, they are simply a shop window for drug companies POSING as a public health charity.

ASH are not even up to date regarding the failure rates and the dangers of the drug products they push.  Do they explain to smokers that the nicotine replacement products are proven to have a 93.5% failure rate when the results are reviewed at twelve-month follow-up, according to the 2008 report by Borland et al?  Do they also warn smokers that the same report found that this failure rate rose to 97.4% if they just got those products from their GP, which means that all the expertise and the efforts of the specialist NHS Stop Smoking Services made a difference of less than 4% across the board – which, by the way, is not “four times more likely to succeed”?

No.  And they don’t tell smokers that Champix carries the risk of very serious, even fatal side effects, and won’t work anyway for over 80% of smokers when results are reviewed at one year, which of course is a worse performance than the original trials suggested.  Not surprising really, since drug trials these days certainly aren’t as ‘scientific’ as they used to be (see “Trust Me, I’m a Doctor” on this site).

Just in case you think ASH should be forgiven for not getting around to any serious warnings yet, just take a look at this, from December 2007: Medical News Today So, why still no mention of any of this by Action on Smoking and Health twenty-one months later? Simple: they are not really a public health charity at all.  If they were, they would be recommending hypnotherapy and the Allen Carr method as the two methods that have consistently proven themselves most effective so far.  They are also the safest methods. Instead they continue to recommend Chantix Champix and Zyban, both of which have caused deaths.  So much for “a group of concerned doctors”!  What were they “concerned” about, drug company profits?

Lowest of the Low: The Internet Drug Dealers

Now look at this, which purports to be a “Trusted Information Bank” about Champix (Chantix).  At the base of the page, a disclaimer states “We don’t encourage the buying and selling of Chantix without prescription”, which is a weird thing to claim when you can buy it right there, via the site!  It mentions nothing about any dangers, but says:

“Chantix is the latest blockbuster drug approved by the FDA on May 11, 2006 that is indicated as an aid to quit smoking. Manufactured by Pfizer Inc., Chantix offers a new approach, different from the existing smoking cessation therapies to quit smoking.”

It does not mention that the drug is now under investigation by the FDA for serious side effects.   Instead it uses crude scare-tactics in the first two, very badly written partagraphs about the dangers of smoking to suggest that Chantix is your ‘only hope’, if you are a smoker, to escape ‘certain death’. The site is called ChantixMagic and it is dangerously devoid of any serious warnings about how this medication could wreck your life or even end it.

ASH: Stop pretending to be a Public Health Charity with smokers’ interests as your primary concern – you are BUSTED!

NICE: Stop sitting on your hands while smokers are actively encouraged to use dangerous medications without being properly informed about the risks.  Allen Carr was right: therapies like ours work far better, so stop pretending they don’t – the public are becoming increasingly aware of these facts, despite all the misinformation generated by the “systematic review” ploy and the bloody Cochrane Library!  The truth is a different matter – you’ll end up losing ALL your credibility, and so will the medical profession generally if you allow the Global Drug Pushers to keep running the show.

Doctors: Don’t prescribe Champix Chantix!  You haven’t been properly informed, do some independent detective work on the internet – just Google “Champix Suicides”, and have a read of that lot.  Then ask yourself: would you put a member of your family on that stuff?  Do you trust Pfizer enough, when they sidestep the issue by saying that there’s no causal link proven – which of course is quite different from saying that there’s no causal link – to risk the life of a loved one?  Haven’t Pfizer just been ordered to pay a truly collosal sum for the offence of “fraudulent marketing”?

All your smoking patients are somebody’s loved one.  Hypnotherapy, the Allen Carr method (which is a form of hypnotherapy anyway) and acupuncture have all scored better long term results in scientific trials, and all carry NO RISK. Look at the Evidence section here, and elsewhere on the web.

Folks, if you share these concerns please help by spreading the word: Truth Will Out is about Health Care, not Health Risk.  There are safer and more successful ways to quit – don’t take the suicide pills.

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The Drug That Never Was

Chantix Champix Kills: But Don’t Tell The Smokers!

by 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 Real Threat to Doctors, Pharmacists and the Medical Profession

To learn the truth about Chantix Champix, all you have to do is Google “Champix suicides” (or Chantix suicides) and read all about it for yourself.

But why should smokers have to do that? Most smokers assume that their doctor or their pharmacist would warn them of any serious risks that their patient might be running if they take Chantix Champix. Some do: in fact, we have heard anecdotally of one or two doctors who have refused to prescribe it. However, these are the exceptions.

Reading around the blogs which are dealing with the Chantix Champix controversy it becomes frighteningly clear that most smokers are left completely in the dark by doctors and pharmacists about the serious side effects of Chantix Champix, and only warned about the minor ones. The fact that this negligence is leading to injuries and deaths must surely be actionable. We are talking about a medication that is currently under investigation by the FDA for serious and dangerous side-effects. It has been very clearly implicated in many suicide attempts and a considerable number of deaths. Many other people have had other horrible reactions that have left them hospitalised, terrified and emotionally damaged, and also Chantix Champix has wrecked relationships and families.

Your doctor and your pharmacist may decide, though, that they’d better not tell you that in case you decide not to take the damn stuff.

One recent contributor to this blog, Kath (see Champix 4: Enough Already. Comment No.98) – was particularly angry about that point, once I had explained that she was not alone. She said:

“Chris thank you for taking the time to respond to me. As I read your reply what really stuck out is that when I had a weird episode of behaviour at 4 weeks, I would have known where it was coming from if I knew that Champix has side effects. If my doctor had warned me to watch for behavioural changes I would have been off this drug much sooner, before it made me into a blubbering mess. That is what bothers me the most.

I was having a conversation with a friend today about how even the doctor makes money when he writes a script. That is really effed up. How can my doctor have a financial benefit to prescribing a drug? What the hell kind of world are we living in? How can we expect to get proper health care when the gp’s make money for giving us life-threatening drugs?”

How indeed. And this is the real threat to the future of the medical profession. It is obvious why Chantix Champix is getting the whitewash treatment, and it all comes down to money. Doctors are treated to free trips, lavish treatment at ‘conferences’ and all kinds of incentives to promote medications which can all be summed up in one simple word: Corrupt.

How complacent are you, all you medical professionals who are just sitting on your hands and pretending it is okay to keep taking the incentives and keep your mouths shut about killer drugs like Chantix Champix? You keep pretending nicotine replacement is a real medication even though you know it doesn’t work at all, you keep prescribing Prozac and Seroxat even though we all know now that they didn’t perform any better than placebos in the trials… Your professional credibility is rotting away even as I type this, and the stench of your corruption is making even the most conservative of patients wince. If you continue down this road there will BE no medical profession, it will all become Medico-Pharmaceutical Inc.

Think I’m exaggerating? Then have a look at this report by one of the few exceptions, a blog edited by practising Canadian pharmacists called Canada Pharmacy News. The story points out that The Canadian Lung Association fails to mention any serious side effects associated with Chantix Champix. This is a very serious omission, but it is no different from what most doctors are doing. The blog also informs us that The Canadian Lung Association received funding in the form of a grant from… Pfizer Canada, the Canadian arm of the global drug giant Pfizer, who make Chantix Champix. Only a few days ago, the Justice Department in the USA announced that Pfizer had been ordered to pay a record settlement of 2.3 billion dollars for “fraudulent marketing”. Nothing to do with Chantix Champix, that one, by the way. But this is (link).

The credibility of pharmacists and doctors was originally based on hard science, but it has all been hijacked by the medico-mafia of the drug companies and their well-placed friends in the medical authorities, the medication approval bodies, academia and the press. Once you’ve lost that credibility in the minds of the public, Doc, you will never get it back.

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The book that blew the whistle on the nicotine scam

Rave Reviews for The Book!

“Highly recommended and possibly one day the book that will be regarded as the seminal tome for examining the smoking habit for what it really is.”

“The real truth behind Nicotine, and the NRT industry is here. Whether you’re attempting to quit smoking, or are just interested in the topic, this will open your eyes. Brilliant.”

These are direct quotes from two reviews of Nicotine: The Drug That Never Was, posted on Amazon.co.uk recently.  I don’t know either of these people, so you can imagine how delighted I am to hear my work spoken of in such terms.  The top quote is – according to Amazon – from a guy in Brisbane, Australia.  It’s a wonderful enough thought that someone on the other side of the world even has a copy of my book, let alone thinks it could become “the seminal tome” where smoking is concerned… heady stuff, eh?

If you want to read the rest of their comments, you can see the full reviews for yourself at Amazon.co.uk (not .com, that’s a different site) using the book title to search.  When the book’s page comes up, you will see that somewhere amid the blurb it states: “2 customer reviews”.  Click on that and read what people who have actually read the book – and have no connection with me whatsoever – thought of it.

Why Bother?

Well, do you smoke?  Do you know anyone who smokes?  Every smoker in the world is being lied to, systematically, and the book proves it beyond doubt.  No wonder smokers find it hard to quit when the methods they are told to use are useless, and based on a lie.  Most of them could quit easily with hypnotherapy, but medical authorities are officially advising them that it is “not proven” – which is also a lie!  This misinformation is killing people in their millions worldwide.  I’m not asking you to believe me just because I state that, I’m asking you to read the evidence then make up your own mind – exactly what the two people quoted above did, in fact.

Then ask yourself: “Why is this officially-approved mass-poisoning of smokers going on?  Why is our tax money being wasted on this bullshit?  Why are we being told untruths… is it deliberate?”

Well, before I did the research for the book, I honestly assumed it was just error.  Maybe, right at the beginning when someone first dreamed up the idea of Nicotine Replacement, it actually was just error.  Somewhere along the line that developed – through a combination of greed, cynicism, twisted logic and political expediency – into an excellent method of:

Appearing to be very pro-active in tackling the smoking issue…

Keeping drug companies very happy indeed (and happy drug companies treat their political helpers very nicely too)…

Making sure the decline in smoking is slowed down as much as possible in reality, by wasting smokers’ time with methods that don’t work BUT not telling them that, so the smokers end up blaming themselves…

Thereby keeping up tobacco tax revenues (not to mention VAT receipts on NRT products bought over the counter) for as long as possible…

AND as a convenient side-benefit, thereby making sure many of those smokers never reach pensionable age, when there are too many people in the U.K. doing that already.

WHY ELSE would they not have scrapped NRT when it became obvious to the Department of Health that Nicotine Replacement Poisoning actually has a long-term failure rate of 94%?  (The other 6% is just willpower, by the way.)

Doubt as a knee-jerk reaction

I guess when you first hear of a book entitled Nicotine: The Drug That Never Was it is quite normal to assume that the writer must have got something fundamentally wrong.  Of course nicotine is a drug – isn’t it?  So why bother reading that?  As the book says: it is easier to go on believing what you have always been told than to recognise the truth you’ve never heard before.

I remember when I published the first edition in October 2007, my wife was expecting it to take off like a rocket and was very excited about it (she was the book’s proofreader), but I said: “No.  This is a slow-burner.”  The drug companies and the medical authorities have got everyone so deeply hypnotised into believing that habitual smoking is an “addiction to nicotine” that proving them wrong is going to take time.  I know that.

But you see, I really don’t care how long it takes.  The book is going to change medical history because it is the first publication ever to conclusively prove the case, and I know that there are enough people out there who are curious, maybe even intrigued by the title to think beyond doubtful assumptions and investigate this for themselves.  These people have been buying the book – or downloading the e-book via the Truth Will Out site – and already some of them are recommending it highly and strongly suggesting that if you have any interest in these matters, you should read it too because it explains exactly how to get rid of the smoking habit easily.

This especially applies to anyone who ever tried NRT because they honestly believed it was a proven method, when in fact it was originally approved only on the basis of its performance at 6 weeks.  Every tobacco smoker who was ever told they were addicted to a ‘drug’ called nicotine, when in fact the poison nicotine possesses no quality that justifies the term ‘drug’.  Every smoker who was ever led to believe that they smoke because of nicotine, and that’s why they can’t stop.  We’re talking hundreds of millions of smokers, worldwide.

That’s a very big market for any nicotine-related quit method, folks.  And that makes the term “nicotine addiction” not only the biggest medical mistake of the 20th Century, but also – every time it is uttered – an advertising slogan.

But not for long!  Because my book proves that the nicotine tale is a lie, and that the propagators of that lie know that they are misleading people.  And they don’t care if that lie ends up killing you – or your Dad, your sister, your best friend or your lover.

But I do.  And I’m not going to let them get away with it.

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