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.

practice website

The Drug That Never Was

9 thoughts on “Chantix Champix Kills, but A.S.H. Won’t Tell The Smokers”

  1. Wow this drug is pushed and peddled around like sweets in a sweet shop.Next thing you know you will be able to buy it in the quit smoking aisles in supermarkets next to the NRT poison.This drug is scary stuff-I know! been on it twice and it never stopped me stopping.I always believed in the nicotene addiction theory till I visited Chris’s site 2 years or so ago.Im not promoting him or his book or hypnotherapy (as that through bad therapists never stopped me smoking either) this is my own personnal experience.I quit smoking again 2 weeks or so ago and went back on my electronic cigarette- with no nicotene and Ive not had any bad so-called withdrawal symptoms-why cos I am still practicing the ‘smoking ritual’ by using the electronic cigarette.Now had I quit again without it I would be going through hell via cold turkey cos my mind would be in conflict with itself.This prooves that there is no such thing as nicotene addiction .Champix is a highly over-rated drug that does more harm than good.Hey if you dont believe me read other blogs on the subject and not just on this site.

  2. Thank you for the up-date.
    I would like to know if this is going to be forced on the mentally ill? seems they are banning smoking in their homes (hospital units) because the patches are all but useless.

  3. Jane is right, to be successful hypnotherapy has to be done properly and I know from our email discussions that both of the individuals she went to previously were lousy therapists! By the way, there is no risk involved in seeing a hypnotherapist that has no talent or hasn’t been trained properly. You are simply less likely to get success, that’s all.

    If you took your car to a mechanic to get it fixed, but he failed to fix it, would you conclude that: “mechanics are no good, they can’t fix cars”? No, you would conclude that you needed to find a better mechanic. Same with therapists. Same with doctors, dentists, boat-builders and taxidermists. And of course, you wouldn’t try to do any of those jobs yourself, unless you are like my Dad.

    Yes, my Dad never called in the experts, when a job needed doing. He was into DIY: Damage It Yourself. I grew up surrounded by things that regularly needed fixing, because they were never fixed properly in the first place, and the soundtrack of my childhood was regular banging, crashing and cursing, such as: “Why won’t the damn thing fit?” and “What idiot designed this?”

    These experiences instilled in me a deep reverence for genuine experts, and so I have collected, over the years, a whole bunch of people who come highly recommended because they happen to be brilliant at plastering, plumbing or fixing washing machines.

    So when anything goes wrong, you won’t find me thumbing through the Yellow Pages, sifting through the cowboys. I already know the guy.

    And when it comes to hypnotherapy for smoking cessation, I AM the guy. I can’t be taking responsibility for practitioners that don’t have my talent and experience – Jane should have come to Central Hypnotherapy!

    Mandy: Giving Champix to anyone with a previous history of depression or mental disorder is contra-indicated, according to FDA warnings and Pfizer’s own product warnings, so let’s hope there’s no chance of that! At this point, though, nothing would surprise me because Jane’s observation about sweets in a sweetshop is about right, unfortunately.

  4. Champix/Chantix is easy to get hold of on the internet. I buy and sell on Ebay for a living and at one time it was readily avaliable on Ebay – but Ebay luckily removed the listings that were on at the time. There used to be a thread on the Ebay community boards which users of Champix used to ‘support’ each other… to my knowledge most carried on smoking or stopped taking Champix because it came with horrendous side effects, or when they finished taking it they reverted back to their old ‘smoking habits’. I know a few who did stay off smoking but don’t know if they are stopped still as the thread gradually disappeared off the board from lack of use. It seems it was popular at the time as we were all ‘Champix newbies’ and thought it was wonderful… this is going back to 2007/2008.

  5. As I mentioned in the blogpost “Internet Kills Doctor”, the availability of prescription medications via internet ‘pharmacies’ (drug shops) poses the biggest threat to the medical profession it has ever faced, yet doctors seem to be objecting to that in the lamest possible terms!

    The few objections I have ever heard from medics about the open sale of prescription drugs without prescription were really only cautioning patients that the drugs they buy might be bogus concoctions which may even be harmful. That is quite true, but this is only one aspect of the danger posed by internet pharmacies.

    If you went to your GP and said: “Can I get some Oxycodone? I really like getting off my face on that stuff. I mean I know they call it ‘hillbilly heroin’ and that it was one of the drugs that killed Heath Ledger, but I’m reckless enough to abuse it anyway, Doc!” … do you think your doctor would be nodding and reaching for his prescription pad? Me neither, but you can order it from any number of drug shops on the internet, no problem at all.

    Why are some medications not available at Tesco? Because they should never be used without the discretion and judgement of a properly-trained medical professional, that’s why. So why aren’t doctors hopping mad at the sudden proliferation of mail-order drug shops? Don’t they realise that if people don’t need prescriptions any more, they are going to become increasingly convinced that they don’t need doctors? All they need is the internet and a credit card. And of course, the ruthless Global Drug Pushers like Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline would be over the moon if everyone started doing that – why should they care if some of them die? They’re not doctors, it’s not their job to keep anyone safe. It’s their job to please their shareholders and sell more pills than the competition, of course the removal of any restrictions is music to their ears!

    Stone blunts scissors. Paper wraps stone. Internet kills doctor. They are sleepwalking into their own obsolescence. The internet drug shop is only the start, you see. Once everyone gets used to that idea, they’ll be moving into the high street next. Then it will be the drugs hypermarket, Pill Heaven. Medications R Us. I can see it now. Can’t you, Doc? They won’t be treating you to lovely conference trips by then, my friend. They just won’t need you any more, they’ll be spending all that money on TV ads instead, like they already do in the States, with people dancing and singing “Viva Viagra!”

    God forbid that anyone should suggest that instead of taking tablets that mess with your blood circulation in an unnatural and dangerous fashion, you should change your diet and your sedentary lifestyle so that your libido is naturally restored.

    how to do that without needing willpower

  6. Chris, great to see this on the frontpage of f2c, Belinda has done a fine write up also.
    The only person I know that has given up smoking with any aid is my neighbour, he was sent on an Allen Carr course, through work.

    He has stopped for a year, everyone I know using the patches started again after a month or so, I am so glad someone is looking at the filthy amount of money being thrown Big Pharma’s way with this.

    It is so cruel what is going on with the mentally ill as it is well documented they get some relief with smoking.
    I listened to Dr Jan Snell at a Ticap conferance, he works with the mentally ill and he does not agree with the drug either.
    He is also not paranoid about smoke (he is a non-smoker).

    I would never tell people to smoke.

  7. I have just taken my last Champix 0.5mg prescription after 18 weeks’ usage. Firstly, I felt over-elated then the awful side effects kicked in namely, daily nausea, dizziness (I fainted one morning), irritated stomach, noticeable mood swings, depression with suicidal thoughts, and insomnia. I continued with the low dosage hoping that the bad feelings will lessen but to no avail. Only positive being I did not smoke. I am hoping that all the irritable, aggressive and sad feelings will leave my system soon and the urge to smoke will not return. Only time will tell. Champix is a STRONG MIND-ALTERING DRUG, please be aware of its potency. Doctors should prescribe this drug with much caution.

  8. Or perhaps not at all, since we now know the long term outcome is about 14% success – nothing like the short-term, hyped outcomes – and we now know that Pfizer seriously misled the FDA about it’s dangers by submitting the horror reports through the WRONG CHANNELS: read this!Take care, Joannie. Those bad effects are more likely to get worse, not better, if you keep on taking it. There are much safer, and more effective ways to quit.

  9. I have taken Champix for a total of 14 days in my attempt to STOP smoking.

    After having taken the tablet, as prescribed, for 6/7 days, I found I was problems with my digestive system that I had not had before. I started taking Champix. I then developed a slight nausea, together with distorted dreams and found on wakening that I was having rather depressing thoughts regards my life and memories of my life. I decided to cease taking this tablet. Since then I still have rather depressing thoughts on wakening, I never had this before taking Champix. I have a constantly ‘running nose’ ?? this started a few days after I started on the Champix tablet. I can say without fear of being incorrect that certain uncomfortable happenings have occurred within my bodily functions since I started taking Champix. I have never had so many discormfortable feelings, all at the same time, since I started taking Champix. I have not smoked since I stopped four weeks back, I stopped Champix 12 days back. I am awaiting to speak with my doctor. Also, I started taking Champix on the recommendations of the NHS clinic I attend ?????

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