Chantix Can Help People Quit Smoking

May 16, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. craving / ˈkreɪvɪŋ / (n.) – a desire or need for something
Example: I need to satisfy my craving for spicy food.

2. cut down / kʌt daʊn / (v.) – to reduce the amount or lessen the use of something
Example: You have to cut down on the amount of chocolates you eat daily.

3. abstinence / ˈæbstɪnəns / (n.) – the act of stopping oneself from doing something
Example: He praised me for my complete abstinence from smoking.

4. side effect / saɪd ɪˈfɛkt / (n.) – a secondary effect of a drug, often unwanted and harmful
Example: A common side effect of painkillers is dizziness.

5. relapse / rɪˈlæps / (v.) – the reoccurrence of a condition
Example: Stress caused the smoker’s relapse.


Read the text below.
A study verifies that a drug called Chantix may help smokers gradually quit smoking. Chantix, generically called varenicline [var-EN-i-kleen], is a prescription drug that helps prevent nicotine craving.

To test the drug’s effectiveness, the researchers randomly chose 1,510 people from 10 countries, all of whom were willing to cut down on and eventually quit smoking in three months. The researchers asked the participants to either take Chantix or a placebo for 24 weeks. Each of the participants was then instructed to reduce cigarette use by 50% on the fourth week, 75% on the eighth week, and 100% on the twelfth week.

Results showed that during the last ten weeks of treatment, the group taking the drug had a higher abstinence rate than the group on placebo. This result remained true even after the treatment. Among those who took Chantix, 27% successfully quit smoking. On the other hand, only 10% of those on placebo were able to quit smoking weeks after the treatment.

While the results are promising, some of the participants who took Chantix experienced side effects that include insomnia, abnormal dreams, nausea [NAW-zee-uh], vomiting, constipation, and weight gain. The drug may also cause unusual changes in mood or behavior and lead to suicidal or violent thoughts. The Food and Drug Administration warns that people taking the drug should stop, should they experience these side effects.

UpToDate, a company that serves as a medical support resource, stated that changing one’s behavior and taking proper medication increases one’s chance of successfully quitting smoking. Quitting will also be easier if smokers avoid situations or activities, such as drinking and being exposed to other smokers, that encourage relapse.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think people should still take Chantix despite its side effects? Why or why not?
·         In your opinion, is taking a drug really necessary to quit smoking? Why is that so?

Discussion B

·         What do you think is the best way to stop smoking? Please discuss briefly.
·         How do you think smoking affects one’s health?

May 16, 2015