(CTN News) – Doctors have found that smokers who want to quit have a significantly higher chance of success if they use a pill that reduces nicotine cravings.
This medication, called cytisine, could play a crucial role in helping people overcome their addiction to smoking. Despite the difficulty of quitting smoking due to the addictive nature of nicotine, many smokers have turned to alternative products like vapes, patches, and gums.
However, researchers have now examined the effectiveness of cytisine, a natural ingredient found in laburnum seeds, in aiding smokers to break their addiction.
Although the medication has been used in central and eastern Europe for many years, it is not widely available in most countries, including the US.
Recently, the UK granted regulatory approval for cytisine, and the pills will soon be accessible to the public.
In a study conducted in Argentina, researchers analyzed 12 randomized controlled trials that compared the success rates of smokers who attempted to quit using cytisine, a placebo, another smoking cessation drug called varenicline (Champix), or nicotine replacement therapies like patches and gum.
The results showed that cytisine pills were more than twice as effective as the placebo in helping people quit smoking. Additionally, some of the trials suggested that cytisine was comparable to varenicline and potentially more effective than nicotine replacement therapy.
The findings of this research have been published in the journal Addiction.
Our research supports the effectiveness and affordability of cytisine as a tool to help individuals quit smoking, according to Omar de Santi, a toxicologist at the Posadas National Hospital in Argentina.
is the primary cause of preventable deaths worldwide, and cytisine has the potential to be a significant solution to this problem.
In the UK, smoking remains the leading cause of preventable illness and death, with approximately 100,000 individuals dying each year due to smoking.
A recent study by Oxford University found that e-cigarettes, varenicline, and cytisine were equally effective in helping smokers quit for at least six months. Without any stop-smoking aids, only about six out of 100 smokers were able to quit for the same duration.
Cytisine pills are expected to be available in the UK as a prescription-only medication by the end of January. However, the cost of £115 for a 25-day course of 100 pills may discourage some regions from incorporating the medication into their healthcare services.
While it is encouraging to have a non-nicotine aid for quitting back on the market, the decision to include cytisine in stop-smoking services will be made at the local level.
Some regions may choose not to offer it due to its higher cost compared to nicotine replacement therapy or vaping products.
Smokers who are unable to access cytisine through their local healthcare services may need to explore other options for quitting smoking.