Saturday 21 October 2017

Pill could help offer smokers best chance of quitting

Almost one-in-three people in Ireland uses e-cigarettes in their attempt to quit smoking. Stock Image: PA
Almost one-in-three people in Ireland uses e-cigarettes in their attempt to quit smoking. Stock Image: PA
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

A popular pill prescribed by Irish doctors may offer people who want medicinal support the best chance of success to quit smoking.

A popular pill prescribed by Irish doctors may offer people who want medicinal support the best chance of success to quit smoking.

The anti-smoking drug Champix, either on its own or in combination with Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT), has been highlighted in a new assessment by the watchdog, the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa).

Almost one-in-three people in Ireland uses e-cigarettes in their attempt to quit smoking. But despite some promising results, Hiqa said there was not enough evidence to reliably demonstrate their effectiveness as an aid to stop smoking just yet.

It warned they may encourage people who have never smoked to take up smoking.

However, the risk to bystanders from "passive vaping" appears to be very low.

Hiqa was asked by the Health Minister to carry out a health technology assessment (HTA) of stop-smoking aids.

Hiqa's director of health technology assessment Dr Máirín Ryan said the report found the HSE should try to increase the uptake of Champix either alone or in combination with NRT among smokers who wish to use pharmacological support.

Irish Independent

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