Pros & Cons of Chantix to Stop Smoking

Learn about the pros and cons of using Chantix to stop smoking from addictions counselor Adam Steiner in this Howcast video.

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Want to quit smoking? Have you tried to stop smoking in the past but failed? We asked Adam Steiner, a Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC) specializing in Smoking Cessation, to give us the lowdown on everything from nicotine patches and holistic therapies to prescription drugs like Chantix. In these videos, you'll learn what really works so you can finally give up cigarettes once and for all.

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As you know, all medications have side effects and pros and cons. If you read the labels of any medication, you will be completely disturbed by some of the simple medications you've been taking for years and seeing what the side effects could be. Chantix only came out six years and a few months ago and it got some bad press. I run several groups and in my groups I've had people take Chantix. So that's where I speak from, that experience. I've never taken it myself. The experience I've had is some nausea is a side effect. Sometimes people have had diarrhea. Sometimes people have gotten a little lightheaded. Stuff like that. Very often, the pros of Chantix, which is blocking the receptor, not getting the pleasures of this smoke, not getting the dopamine release and saying, why am I smoking has been a great to my clients. They were able to deal with a little bit of nausea, a little bit of diarrhea, because the pros outweigh the cons tremendously. I do have one story about a client that was in my group that had taken Chantix. It helped her quit smoking, she was coming to my group. Four weeks into taking the Chantix she got very depressed and she didn't feel like coming out of the house. She followed the instructions that I gave her, that her doctor gave her, which were if that happens, to call her doctor. Also contact me. Let us know what's going on. She did that. She contacted me. I told her make sure you contact your doctor. Her doctor told her to stop taking it immediately. Within a few days, her depression lifted. She did not pick up a cigarette. She came back into my group. So the Chantix did help her quit smoking and she stayed quit. That's the only story I have of depression. I know I've read certain things, that people have had severe side effects. But there's a lot of side effects with quitting smoking. They don't last forever and if you get coping skills by going to a group, by going to a counselor, by talking to other people who've quit smoking, they'll help you with these things so that you actually don't experience any thing that harmful.

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  • Adam Steiner

    Adam Steiner is an addictions counselor specializing in the field of nicotine addiction. His program provides a safe space for people to quit smoking and learn skills in order to stay smoke free. He co-created and instituted New York State's first smoking cessation program for people living with HIV/AIDS at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center in New York City. From October 2007 through August 2011 he worked in the outpatient drug and alcohol program at the LGBT Center working with clients who have addictions to tobacco and other substances.