Your Smoking Cessation Center

To Chantix or Not to Chantix : This is the Quit Smoking Question of Our Modern Life

My husband is quitting smoking after smoking for over 30 plus years, and he is on Chantix.  With the help of his cardiologist, he is on this very impressive medicine, and it is helping him stay away from cigarettes, and is not tempted to switch back to smoking.  It is a huge step, but one I hope you take sooner than he did, as his Chantix prescription was from his cardiologist or heart doctor.  Your decision to quit, should be soon, and if you are not ready to quit, keep smoking, but keep reading too!

What is Chantix and How Does it Work

Chantix On the First Four Weeks

Chantix is a drug called Varenicline tartrate, that works to block the cravings a smoker may have during their quit.  The drug works for at least 12 weeks, and then may continue for 24 weeks.  The prescription comes in 4 week packs, and you have to visit your doctor to start this smoking cessation prescription.  In more detail, each 4 week period costs around $200, and although expensive, it is close to what a pack a day smoker spends on cigarettes.  It is a cost to many, but think of it this way, you will not be on Chantix forever, and cigarettes are an ongoing addiction, so in this argument, you are saving thousands over your life in many ways.

The drug works to stop or prevent, the pleasure centers of your brain from feeling your perceived nicotine happy feeling.  You can smoke during the first week of your treatment, and then you should quit on your 6th or 7th day.  This is your quit date, and from then on, you can ditch the cigarettes.  Keep taking your Chantix, for the required 12 weeks, and see your doctor on your path to being smoke free once again.  It will depend on your progress, if you continue Chantix for a longer period of time.

Skeptical and Stubborn Chantix Users

My husband is a die hard smoker, who has been on Chantix for three weeks.  He is at the end of his third week, and has not smoked for over 14 days.  This is huge, as he is a stubborn and resistant to change smoker, who smoked over 1 pack a day.  He sometimes was a 2 pack a day smoker.  The costs on our family have been enormous, as he is now going through many drugs to keep his heart working, as he has severe coronary artery disease.  He has one 100% blockage in his heart, and two other severe blockages of 70%.  He has made giant changes, and despite his stubborn Norwegian brain, he is nothing but a new man.

The effect that Chantix has had on him, is impressive.  He is able to go each day, without smoking.  He has never had one day, that I knew him, where he was not outside holding a cigarette.  Not used to all the time on his hands, he has now gotten into thinking about a gym membership, and has taken on some healthy eating recipe books with gusto.  The low salt diet he is on, is helping too, as he is discovering that vegetables and fruit are actually very tasty.  He made a strawberry-blueberry salsa with jalapenos the other day, that was great!

He has had some crazy dreams, and one night, he insisted that there was someone in the back yard, and that the security light was on.   I kept reassuring him, over the next 2 hours, that nope, no one in the backyard.  He would settle back to sleep, and continue with the dream.  It kept us both up that night, but he has had pretty nice results otherwise.  I know that he would not be able to keep smoking away, without the drug, as he and I have had some stressful days recently, and he went through the stress, and didn’t stop for smokes.  We are hoping the next few weeks will be just as effective, and there will be news coming from us as he continues his smoking cessation plan.

Chantix has some Side Effects and Is Serious Medicine

The following side effects list comes from the PubMed Heath Website, and is something you must discuss with your doctor.

Chantix should only be taken after serious consideration, and with careful review with your doctor.  If you do not have insurance, do not have a doctor, you should contact the manufacturer of Chantix, at  There is no reason, no excuse, no story or situation to stop you from trying Chantix, other than a medical reason that you and your doctor feel are too risky for your health situation.  Only you and your doctor can decide if Chantix is right for you!



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