Tell me lies about nicotine

by Chris Holmes

When I was growing up in the 1960s smokers did NOT think they were drug addicts. Smoking was a habit – perhaps a dirty one, but just a habit nevertheless – and the concept of nicotine replacement products like gum and patches did not exist. But the concept of nicotine replacement did!

The idea of substituting one form of nicotine for another was not conceived originally as ever leading to a saleable product to help people quit, but as “proof” that tobacco smoking was a drug addiction and that the “need” was specifically a need for nicotine. And it was not conceived by any special expert in addiction studies, but by a Scottish General Practitioner called Lennox Johnston.
Now I know that you’ve probably never heard of Lennox Johnston – hardly anyone has – but through the 1930s, 40s and 50s he was busy driving the British Medical Association mad by being well ahead of his time on the subject of tobacco and lung cancer. In 1942 he published an article in The Lancet which declared tobacco smoking to be the main cause of lung cancer, long before it was finally established as the truth in 1969.

The Medical Establishment don’t like being told things by underlings, and Johnston was by no means a member of the Establishment. He wasn’t even English, for God’s sake! So they weren’t going to listen to him or allow him to have credit for anything. He was repeatedly refused funding to conduct research into the link between smoking and lung cancer, which was given instead to Richard Doll and Bradford Hill.

Meanwhile Johnston was also experimenting with pure solutions of nicotine, regularly injecting himself with the stuff and twice nearly dying as a result because nicotine is extraordinarily poisonous even in tiny quantities. Later he assembled 35 “volunteers” who were habitual smokers and gave them regular injections of nicotine whenever they felt a desire to smoke. Some of them came, in time, to prefer the injection to the cigarette – just as we see some smokers, today, coming to prefer the vape stick to the cigarette, or the nicotine lozenge, or the mouth spray or whatever.

So: case closed! Nicotine is what smokers desire and any form of nicotine will do – right?

Trouble is, it doesn’t work. In January 2012, Harvard University published a study that confirmed my own published claims from five years before, namely that Nicotine replacement therapy DOESN’T WORK AT ALL. They looked at the success rates of all the nicotine products at the one year mark and found that the success rate (6%) was exactly the same a willpower alone. This is because smoking isn’t a drug addiction, it’s a compulsive habit.

Gum, patch, lozenge, microtab, spray… strip?

by Chris Holmes

If nicotine gum works, why did they need to invent the patch? Well okay, maybe some people don’t like chewing gum, fair enough. But if the patch works, why did they invent the lozenge? And what is the difference, really, between the lozenge and the microtab?

If all these products do what they are supposed to do – which is to deliver nicotine a different way, so there is no urge to smoke tobacco – why does anyone need a spray? And the latest new-fangled nicotine product from GlaxoSmithKline is the nicotine strip! Surely that’s SLOWER than the spray? Are we going backwards in development now?

Try the NEW version of Nicotine!

Let me explain what is really going on. If a product does what it is supposed to do, it doesn’t need reinventing. That’s why wheels have remained the same shape over centuries. That’s the shape that works. If something doesn’t work, or doesn’t work for very long, you have to keep reinventing it in order to sell the idea again to the same people who tried it before, which is why there is always a new diet book out: Have you tried the new Fat Only Diet? (The madder it sounds, the more likely people are to hear of it, and therefore more people try it!) You ONLY eat fat. That’s ALL you eat. You can have as much as you like, every day, but you mustn’t eat anything else for three weeks. And you ONLY drink milk. Then, you see, your body gets used to ONLY burning fat for energy, and it just carries on doing that after you go back to normal food so it burns up all the fat off your body! It really works!

No it doesn’t!

No it doesn’t, don’t try it. Sounds plausible though, doesn’t it? And once the idea of nicotine replacement was established as a plausible idea, the mere fact that it doesn’t work at all has never got in the way of the marketing or the sales, for the simple reason that smokers don’t want to die so they’re willing to try anything that might help them quit. Now, not so very long ago the drug companies were telling smokers that using nicotine products meant you were “four times more likely” to quit than by merely using willpower. Then an NHS trust was rapped over the knuckles by the Advertising Standards Agency for repeating this claim in their literature, because it isn’t true. Then, in January 2012 Harvard University published research which proved that nicotine replacement products do not produce any better results, if you look at the results at one year, than willpower alone. They don’t work AT ALL.

Nicotine Replacement products are BOGUS!

Did this news prompt the NHS to stop wasting money on these useless products? No! Did they get banned or withdrawn? No! Are doctors still prescribing this rubbish? YES!! Believe it or not, this still qualifies as “evidence-based medicine”, even though it is NOT medicine and the evidence is very clear now that it doesn’t work at all. It is business as usual for the drug companies, the BMA, N.I.C.E. and the chemist – not to mention all the other outlets who sell this trash over the counter.

What it does mean, though, is that the drug companies have to be careful what they say in their advertising now, which is why the campaign last year pushing NiQuitin patches resorted to: “No other patch is more effective!” True enough: none of them work. Pretty dishonest lot, aren’t they?

New NiQuitin Oral Strips

So now we have the latest pointless reinvention of nicotine gum: the oral strip from GSK, “the first and only stop smoking aid in a strip” (try to contain your excitement, now!) What they are hoping is that all the smokers that have tried the gum, the patches, the lozenge, the microtab and the spray – all to no avail – will be able to suspend their disbelief somehow that THIS will be the delivery system that will save them. And although the science says quite clearly that it won’t, the drug company gets around that awkward fact by the ingenious wording of the latest claim: “All designed to double your chance of quitting compared to willpower alone.”

“All designed to.” It doesn’t say it will, it says it is designed to. What a crock of shit.

Real help to quit smoking

Success with nicotine products

by Chris Holmes

A full eighteen months after Harvard University proved that 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”, we might wonder why smokers are still being prescribed these useless products at the taxpayers’ expense. This is no longer an “evidence-based” medicine – in fact it is not a medicine at all and never has been. There is no such thing as “therapeutic nicotine”.

“Therapeutic” means it does you GOOD!

Nicotine is a poison. All the effects of nicotine are toxic, but the drug companies that produce nicotine replacement products have been funding research for years now, trying to find another application for the products because they know it won’t be long before all smokers know it doesn’t work at all. Every now and then stories pop up in the press reporting that “research suggests” that nicotine patches “might be useful” for this, or “could be helpful” for that.

The problem with “research”

Let us not forget that it was “research” which suggested in the first place that nicotine replacement poisoning “might be” helpful to smokers. The trouble is, they only looked at the short-term effects. This is what passes for “science” nowadays because research like this is organised and funded by the companies that make the products, and all they’re after is a licence. So those short-term effects don’t have to be impressive, they only have to be slightly better than a control group using a placebo. This is easy to organise: you just run several groups at the same time, some with placebos and some with the product, using only small numbers of people within each group.

Cherry picking

Why small numbers? Because when you convert that number into a percentage later, you magnify it. Then you cherry pick both ways: you take the placebo group with the lowest number of successes, and the product group with the highest. The difference in real numbers of successes may be no more than a random anomaly really, but as soon as you convert both figures into percentages it looks like a very clear and positive result. Sometimes they even stop clinical trials early because they have achieved that already and they don’t want to blunder on long enough to run into nasty side effects or relapses that may occur in the long term. It is okay for the end-user to blunder into that sort of thing, but we don’t want it mussing up the trial data.

Exclusions

Did I mention that we exclude anyone from the trials who might be fragile in any way mentally or physically? Just in case they don’t respond very well or have a bad reaction that might mess up the trial and make the drug look dangerous. Of course the end-user isn’t protected by being excluded. Doctors will prescribe it with confidence to anyone, because they fondly imagine that it has been proven in the trials to be effective and safe. It hasn’t.

The truth about NRT

The cruel truth is that nicotine replacement products are still being fraudulently funded by public money and recommended to smokers because it creates the impression that the government is doing something about smoking but in reality it does not reduce the tobacco tax revenue by being effective in stopping people smoking. In fact that official endorsement legitimises a bogus product which can also be bought over the counter, and the government collect Value Added Tax (meaningless phrase that, isn’t it?) from the sale of those products. Also, promoting methods that actually work – such as hypnotherapy, for example – would save lives, meaning that more people would live to retirement age and start claiming a pension when there are frankly too many people doing that already…

The truth about the Department of Health

So that is why, when the science proved that every penny of public money spent on nicotine products is completely wasted, the government pretended not to notice, just as they did when their own research came to the same conclusions in 2005 (the Borland Report). I hate to break this to you, smokers, but your government doesn’t want you to realise that NRT doesn’t work because they don’t really want you to stop smoking. They want you to smoke, then try the nicotine gum, then smoke, then try the patches, then smoke, then try the lozenges, then smoke, then try the microtab, then smoke, then try the nicotine spray, then relapse into smoking again and hopefully this will have taken so many years that you ALMOST get to retirement age but not quite.

And then they want you to die. That is what “success with nicotine products” means to them.

NHS: Scrap NRT NOW!!

by Chris Holmes

Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) was originally passed as if it were an effective medication on the basis of its performance at just six weeks.

Since 2001 the UK government has spent hundreds of millions of pounds every year on the free or subsidised provision of NRT through the NHS.

Many scientific studies have shown that willpower alone produces a long-term stop smoking success rate of anywhere between 2% and 8%.

In 2005 the government learned from the Borland Report that NHS Smoking Cessation Services had a long-term success rate of just 6.5%. This is well within the normal placebo range, proving that those methods don’t work.

Promoters of NRT then adopted the fraudulent tactic of selecting only trial studies with a particularly low success rate for willpower – such as 2% – for comparison with NHS Services, to make it look as if the 6.5% figure boosts smokers’ chances of success.

The Borland Report did the same thing: slyly comparing the success rate of smokers trying to quit with their doctor’s help (2.6%) with those going to the hugely expensive NHS Smoking Cessation Services (6.5%) and concluding: “Where suitable services exist, we recommend that referral [to NHS S.C.S.] become the normal strategy for management of smoking cessation in general practice.”

The Royal College of Physicians have actually argued that 6.5% is “cost effective” if you treat million of smokers, because then, even that puny percentage would clock up a few hundred thousand successes!  Barmy, eh?  Never mind the fact that we needn’t spend a dime on NRT because willpower clocks up the same result anyway.

In 2007 I published Nicotine: The Drug That Never Was (Volume I) – a book that blew the whistle on the NRT scam.

In 2009 I published the second volume, and meanwhile the cost of NHS Smoking Cessation Services rose to £84,000,000.  Just for that one year.

In 2010 my original claim that smokers’ cravings have nothing to do with nicotine was confirmed by research at the University of Tel Aviv.

In January 2012 my original claim that NRT has NO benefit was confirmed by research at the University of Harvard.

The Truth Will Out Campaign has been calling for the NHS to drop NRT since March 2008 because it doesn’t work at all.  The science backs this campaign but the BMA, the Department of Health, the MHRA, A.S.H. and N.I.C.E. all continue to recommend nicotine replacement products and public funding for them.  They are wilfully ignoring the facts.

My books made three controversial claims.  The first two claims have now been independently verified.  The third – that nicotine is not a drug at all, and that smoking is not drug taking – will inevitably be verified as well because it is all true.  But how many smokers have died since 2007?  More than half a million in the UK alone.  How many of them tried NRT on the advice of government and medical authorities, unknowingly wasting their precious time?

How much NHS cash has been wasted already on these bogus products since 2001?  Anybody’s guess, but since the Borland Report first gave the Blair government the bad news in 2005, it will certainly have topped £500,000,000 just in the UK.

IF YOU BELIEVE THAT THE CASH SHOULD BE DIVERTED NOW TO OPERATIONS AND EQUIPMENT THAT ACTUALLY WORK, PLEASE SHARE THIS PAGE ON TWITTER, FACEBOOK, ANYWHERE… NRT is a massive global con and YOU are paying for it.

Champix: The Terror Continues

*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

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

 

Hypnotherapy to stop smoking: a few tips!

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

 

Champix Chantix Success Report No.1

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

Tobacco’s healing properties

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

 

 

Champix Chantix 9: Varenicline, murders and suicide

*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.*

Why Champix Should Be Withdrawn Immediately  by Chris Holmes

Finally – and this has taken far too long – the call has begun for Champix to be withdrawn from sale because of the dreadful damage it has done to so many smokers and their families.  Dr Michael Siegel, a Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at Boston University School of Public Health has explained why the Black Box Warning on the medication – the strongest type of safety warning there is – is still not sufficient to protect the public.  His voice should not be ignored: Dr Siegel has 25 years experience in the field of tobacco control and has published nearly 70 papers on tobacco.  This is what he says about Pfizer’s dangerous brain-boiling tablet:

http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/2011/04/rest-of-story-calls-for-removal-of.html

http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/2011/04/chantix-why-black-box-warning-is-not.html

I’ve Been Saying This For Years Now

I first heard of Champix (Chantix in the U.S.), otherwise known as varenicline, in May 2007.  By July 2008 I had already learned enough about it to arrive at the conclusion that it should never have been passed as if it were safe for use in the UK, Canada or Australia because it was already clear it was causing serious harm in the United States.  Before another year had gone by I had made it an express aim of the Truth Will Out Campaign to call for the withdrawal of this extremely unpredictable killer drug.  (See Homepage for the original aims of The T.W.O. Campaign.)

That was two years ago.  The foot-dragging of medical authorities all over the world with regard to this evil medication has become truly obscene.   Most recently, New Zealand’s medicines approval body Pharmac – which had hesitated over Champix because of serious concerns regarding its safety – finally did a special ‘package deal’ with Pfizer involving the licensing of a number of drugs, including Champix, making it shockingly clear that their former concerns about the safety of New Zealand smokers could be negotiated away if the price was right.  Never mind that the link with suicides was already well established.  Never mind the fact that by this time, it was apparent that the true success rate of the drug (at the one-year follow-up stage) was only about 14%.  The press in New Zealand churned out the familiar marketing hype about the 55% ‘success rate’ once achieved at the 12 week stage in clinical trials, and a Pfizer spokesperson added the  platitude that the “benefits outweighed the risks”.  What they really meant was, the benefits to THEM outweighed any risks to smokers lives, jobs, health, relationships, liberty etc. as far as THEY were concerned… risks which Pfizer continue to deny can be conclusively linked to the drug anyway.

*Would you like to reply to that denial?  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.  If you live elsewhere, Google “How do I report a bad reaction to a medication in…” (wherever)*

Smokers’ Testimony Doesn’t Count

… as far as Pfizer are concerned, that is.  This is why I encourage all those smokers who have suffered a bad reaction to report it, and make sure their doctor uses the official channels to make that report count.  And although a recent report  found that Champix/Chantix was 18 times more likely to be associated with violent behaviour than any of the other 484 drugs in the study – making it the worst offender of all in terms of aggressive reactions – that is STILL only using the data from the limited number of cases where an official complaint was made against the medication.

Smokers’ testimony counts here, though, on Truth Will Out.  Already we know, from such testimony, that:

– many smokers are STILL not being warned about ANY risks associated with the medication

– many doctors and other medical personnel don’t know much about risks anyway, or dismiss it as ‘media hype’

– many smokers are okay on the drug at first.  THEN it gets nasty

– early results seem much more promising than long-term outcomes actually are

– the last two points have generated massive amounts of PREMATURE praise for the drug

– many sufferers of bad reactions did not know that the drug was to blame

– very bad side effects continue in some people long after coming off the drug.

It seems inevitable that suicidal or violent behaviour in individual cases over the last four years may well have been blamed on the individual rather than the drug.  In court cases or inquests all over the world it seems likely that the connection would probably have been missed, or perhaps dismissed as an attempted excuse.  Certainly the actor Nicolas Williams was thought by some commentators at the time to be using that connection as a way of getting off an assault charge, when he was cleared by a court last June.  But how many have been convicted?

In July last year, Andrew Case  killed his two young daughters and his wife, then hanged himself.  He had been taking Champix, but at the inquest it was stated that none of the drug was found in his blood.  Did the people conducting that inquest fully understand that the horror continues for many Champix victims, sometimes long after the drug is discontinued?  PRETTY IMPORTANT FACT TO BE AWARE OF, DON’T YOU THINK?

A Sure-Fire Way To Get At The Truth About Champix

When people die by their own hand – or as a result of violence, there is always a post-mortem examination.  In this country, and I’m sure in many others, if that person is on any medication from their doctor, a note of this is made as part of the post-mortem and inquest proceedings.  However, if they blew their brains out with a shotgun – or someone else’s brains – then the cause of death is recorded as Death By Shooting.  If they were taking Champix at the time, the cause of death is listed as… Death By Shooting.  This means if Champix really caused that death, Pfizer got away with it.

I suggest that the obvious thing to do is to look back over ALL the violent deaths and suicides which have happened over the last four years, and find out how many of those people were taking Chantix or Champix at the time.  Then compare this information with the same types of cases in the previous four years before that, to see if the Great Global Champix Experiment threw up a spike in the incidence of violent assault, murder and suicide.   Might also be a good idea for anyone accused or convicted of violent behaviour during that time to check for a Champix connection if that was not the way they usually behave.  I’m sure this kind of information could be demanded by anyone under the Freedom of Information Act here in the UK, or obtained by lawyers involved in cases against Pfizer over Chantix/Champix.  Even though this would still be missing the cases where the drug was bought, not prescribed, it would be a very good indicator of the drug’s actual role in all these horror stories and – even if not conclusive in any individual case – enough to get the monstrous concoction banned.

That inevitable event cannot come soon enough.  How many more have to die, Doc?

the book that blew the whistle on the nicotine scam

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