Study Shows That Smoking-Cessation Drugs Cause Extreme Depression

Sometimes the desire to quit smoking is so strong that we consider any and all methods of quitting. I’ve tried many times to quit cold-turkey and once with nicotine gum. I’ve never used the patch. The method that worked for me was using an electronic cigarette. There’s also another method that many people use, and that’s prescription drugs.

Chantix is the brand name for the drug Varenicline. Lots of people have used Chantix successfully to quit smoking, but according to a recent study, the drug should not be used as a first choice. According to researchers, Chantix has shown that use can substantially increase the risk of depression and suicidal behavior.

The study found that from 1999 to 2011, 90 percent of reported suicide-related behavior related to smoking-cessation devices were connected to Chantix, and Chantix has only been available to the public during four years of the study. That is an extremely high rate.

The researchers claim that based on these results, the benefits of using Chantix outweigh the risks.

With numbers that staggeringly high, you should consider trying other methods to quit smoking first. Have you tried using an electronic cigarette yet? It’s not FDA approved as a smoking cessation device but it worked for me. By slowly weening myself from tobacco, I was able to kick the habit once and for all.

* image courtesy of Harveyben

Inhibiting This Enzyme Can Aid in Quitting Smoking


The protein, kinase C epsilon is an enzyme that is attributed to the feeling of enjoyment when nicotine binds to nicotine receptors on dopamine neurons. This enjoyment from tobacco leads to a sense of reward, making quitting difficult.

A new study of mice who were genetically engineered to lack kinase C epsilon have been found to consume less nicotine-containing water solution than normal mice. The belief now is that by inhibiting this protein in the body, the areas of the brain that send the reward signal can be regulated. Regulation can help people trying to quit smoking be successful, by reducing the cravings that nicotine from smoking causes.

The medical community is making great progress in helping us quit smoking and maintain a smoke-free life. Hopefully, one day this will be a non-issue.

If you’d like to read more about the study, visit

* image attribution: “Bliss” by See-ming Lee is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Reduce Cigarette Cravings By Listening to What Your Body is Telling You

Deepak Chopra, a medical doctor and specialist in alternative medicine and spirituality, provides some tips on how to quit smoking by listening to what your body tells you.

Think about the things that smoking does while you’re inhaling.

Feel your skin tightening, your stomach knotting up and your heart rate speeding up.

These feelings will send those messages to your brain, telling it that it doesn’t want you to smoke. Do this every time you light up and eventually you might start to crave that nicotine less and less.

If you’re looking for an alternative to cigarettes, check out the South Beach Smoke.

Why Do You Smoke?

If someone were to ask you why you smoke, what would you tell them?

I never had a good answer to that question. I would usually say something like “it feels good” or “it helps me relax.”

What makes those answers interesting is that it’s obvious how the cigarette addiction plays tricks on our minds.

Why does smoking “feel good?” Because when you don’t smoke, you start to withdrawal. Put more nicotine in the body and the withdrawal stops.

Why do people think cigarettes help relieve stress and relax?

Actually, this is another symptom of withdrawal. Stress and anxiety levels in smokers are often induced by their need for nicotine. By smoking another cigarette, those anxiety levels are reduced to normal levels – the levels they would have been had they never began smoking in the first place.

Don’t let the addiction of tobacco trick you into thinking there is a reason to smoke. Quit while you can and get healthy.

* image courtesy of Carlos Huerta

Increase Your Chances of Quitting by Calling a Quitline

According to a study performed by the University of Newcastle in New South Wales, Australia, telephone counseling to help smokers quit actually works. The study specifically tested how the smokers were recruited to the quitlines and how the recruitment method effected the results.

Dr. Flora Tzelepis and her colleagues found that no matter how the smokers were recruited, whether by physician referral, direct mail, phone calls, or television ads, proactive telephone counseling is beneficial.

If you’re serious about quitting smoking, think about calling a quitline. It might seem silly, or perhaps you’re a little shy, but if you want to kick this terrible addiction, give it a try.

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