How hard is it to quit smoking? Smokers agree that quitting would be one of their greatest accomplishments in life

    A recent Leger survey reveals insights into smoking addiction

    KIRKLAND, QC, April 17 /CNW/ - There are currently nearly 5 million
Canadians battling a smoking addiction(1), 73 per cent of whom agree that
quitting would be one of their greatest accomplishments in life, according to
the recent CHAMPIX(TM) Smoking Survey, conducted by Leger Marketing. Although
most smokers would like to quit;(2) and in fact, nine out of 10 current
smokers have tried to quit at least once before,(2) only five per cent succeed
with no external assistance.(3)
    Smoking is often incorrectly referred to as a habit when it is in fact a
serious addiction. Studies have shown that nicotine addiction can be as
difficult to overcome as heroin or cocaine addiction.(4)
    "I was a smoker for 50 years and tried to quit a couple times. At the
beginning I was always confident that I would quit; then I would start to feel
the physical withdrawal. Add to that, the mental game and I ended up having a
cigarette," said Mr. Marcel Lalonde. Mr. Lalonde is not alone, one in two
smokers who try to quit don't even last 24 hours, according to the Leger

    New Aid NOW Available
    Those battling an addiction to nicotine now have a new prescription
smoking cessation treatment available to them - CHAMPIX(TM) (varenicline
tartrate). Approved by Health Canada in January, CHAMPIX is now available in
pharmacies across Canada.
    One third of Canadian smokers rate themselves as "completely addicted to
nicotine." Smoking behaviours, such as smoking upon waking and when ill, can
be useful when assessing nicotine dependence.(2) In the CHAMPIX Smoking
Survey,(2) 64 per cent of respondents have a cigarette within a half hour of
waking up and 50 per cent of respondents admitted to smoking while they are
sick, bed-ridden or have trouble breathing.
    Using effective smoking cessation methods and working with a doctor,
smokers can devise a plan that will give them the best chance to quit
    "As physicians, we need to recognize smoking as an addiction and
acknowledge that when people quit, they experience real physical and
psychological symptoms. We need to make sure they understand the addiction and
are getting the right support if we are going to set them up for permanent
success," said Dr. Lew Pliamm, Lecturer, Department of Family Medicine,
University of Toronto, Founder and Medical Director, The Quit Clinic Inc., and
Canadian Phase Onward Inc., and a CHAMPIX Clinical Investigator.

    Smoking Cessation Counselling
    Smoking cessation treatment involves more than just pharmacotherapy;
counselling is also a necessary component of a successful quitting program.(5)
Fortunately, Canadians have a number of excellent resources available to them,
including Health Canada's, as well as local support
programs across the country.
    Smokers' helplines are a free telephone support service that can help
smokers quit smoking when the time is right. According to Health Canada, the
Canadian Lung Association and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada,
smokers' helplines play an important and critical role in supporting the
smoking cessation efforts of Canadians. Whether just thinking about it, or
already begun, a smokers' helpline can increase the chance of success.(6)
Smokers looking for support can visit to find a
smokers' helpline in their region.

    About CHAMPIX
    CHAMPIX, the first in a new class of prescription medications, is
available for smoking cessation treatment in adults in conjunction with
smoking cessation counselling. CHAMPIX is the first new prescription smoking
cessation treatment to become available in a decade. It is not a nicotine
replacement, rather a specifically designed treatment that targets and
partially activates the nicotinic receptors in the brain, and reduces a
smoker's craving and withdrawal symptoms. If a person smokes a cigarette while
receiving treatment, CHAMPIX has the potential to diminish the sense of
satisfaction associated with smoking.
    CHAMPIX's clinical trial program includes four pivotal trials involving
almost 4,000 cigarette smokers. Participants, on average, had smoked about 21
cigarettes per day for an average of approximately 25 years. In two
identically designed studies, participants receiving a 12-week course of
CHAMPIX therapy (1 mg twice daily) nearly quadrupled the likelihood of
quitting than those taking placebo and had nearly twice the likelihood of
quitting than those patients taking bupropion SR(*) (150 mg twice daily). All
clinical trial participants received a National Cancer Institute educational
booklet on smoking cessation, and up to 10 minutes of individualised
counselling at each visit.
    Patients were followed for an additional 40 weeks without treatment.
After one year, approximately one-in-five patients who received the 12-week
course of CHAMPIX remained smoke-free. In another study, a second course of
CHAMPIX treatment in patients who quit at the end of the first course showed a
greater likelihood of long-term success in quitting smoking.
    In clinical trials CHAMPIX was found to be safe and well tolerated. The
most commonly observed adverse events associated with CHAMPIX 1 mg twice daily
(greater than 5% and twice the rate seen in placebo-treated patients) were
nausea, abnormal dreams, constipation, flatulence, and vomiting.

    About Pfizer Canada
    Pfizer Canada Inc. is the Canadian operation of Pfizer Inc, the world's
leading pharmaceutical company. Pfizer discovers, develops, manufactures and
markets prescription medicines for humans and animals. Pfizer's ongoing
research and development activities focus on a wide range of therapeutic areas
following our guiding aspiration... Working for a healthier world. For more
information, visit

    CHAMPIX is a trademark of Pfizer Products Inc.
    (*) Zyban (bupropion SR) is a registered trademark of Glaxo Group

    To access more information about CHAMPIX including: photos, research,
    backgrounders and VNR please visit the CHAMPIX Media Room:
    username: media
    login: champixCA

    ANR/VNR Satellite Coordinates:

    DATE OF FEED:  Tuesday, April 17, 2007
    TIME OF FEED:  10:00 - 10:30 and 14:00 - 14:30 Eastern
    CO-ORDINATES:  Anik F2, C-Band, Transponder 3B @111.1 West
                   Vertical Polarization, D/L Freq. 3820MHz.
                   Audio subcarriers 6.8 left, 6.2 right

    Audio and Video News Release will be available on Tuesday, April 17th
    at in the Television and Radio section under
    "New Releases" category.

    NOTE TO EDITOR - CHAMPIX(TM) Smoking Survey, conducted by Leger Marketing

    About the Survey
    -   Data collection for the study was conducted via an online survey
        interface hosted by
    -   Adults between 18 and 65 years of age from across Canada were
        randomly selected to take part in this survey. Potential respondents
        were screened according to certain occupations (such as marketing,
        tobacco, pharma, etc.), participation in related research programs,
        and of course, smoking status.
    -   A total of 2,000 interviews were completed, broken down as follows:
        500 shorter surveys were conducted among Maintenance respondents
        (with a margin of error of +/- 4.4%, 19 times out of 20), and 1,500
        full-length surveys were conducted among all other CTUMS Stages of
        Change groups (with a margin of error of +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of

    Level of Addiction
    -   24% of respondents smoke more than 20 cigarettes per day ... 3% smoke
        more than 30.
    -   64% of respondents have a cigarette within the first half hour of
        waking up ... 22% have a cigarette within the first five minutes.
    -   22% find it difficult to not smoke in places where they shouldn't.
    -   30% would most hate to give up the first cigarette in the morning.
    -   36% smoke more first thing after waking up than during the rest of
        the day.
    -   50% still smoke while they are sick, bed ridden or have trouble

    Self-Described Level of Addiction
    A third of all Canadian smokers (31%) rate themselves as "completely
addicted" to nicotine, by scoring themselves a 10 on a scale of one to 10.
Fully 78% rate themselves at least a seven on the same scale, with an average
overall rating of 8.4 out of 10.

    History of Quit Attempts
    Nine out of 10 current smokers (87%) have tried to quit smoking at least

    24-Hour Quit Attempts
    Half of smokers who have tried to quit were not able to spend 24 hours
smoke free.

    A Sense of Personal Failure
    A little over half the smokers in Canada (54%) agree they suffer from a
personal sense of failure every time they unsuccessfully attempt to quit

    The main reason cited for attempting to quit smoking
    -   Future health concerns (38%)
    -   Cost of cigarettes (12%)
    -   Because I feel ready (9%)
    -   No longer enjoy smoking (8%)
    -   Present health concerned (6%)
    -   Pregnancy or baby in household (5%)
    -   Smoking is less socially acceptable / smoking bans (5%)
    -   Pressure from family, friends or work (4%)
    -   Smoking related disease / death in family member or friend (4%)
    -   Doctor's advice (3%)
    -   Second-hand smoke (2%)
    -   Just to see if I can do it (1%)


    (1) Health Canada. Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey (CTUMS) 2005.
        July 10, 2006. Available at:
        tabac/research-recherche/stat/ctums-esutc/2005/index_e.html. Accessed
        January 15, 2007.
    (2) Leger Marketing Study on Smoking Habits completed with 2,000 smoking
        and ex-smoking Canadians in Fall 2006.
    (3) Health Canada. Nicotine Replacement Therapies - NRT. May 31, 1999.
        Available at:
        Accessed: January 15, 2007.
    (4) Health Canada. Nicotine.
        tabac/body-corps/nicotine/index_e.html. Accessed January 2, 2007.
    (5) Fiore MC, Bailey WC, Cohen SJ, et al. "Treating tobacco use and
        dependence." Rockville, Md.: Department of Health and Human Service,
    (6) Canadian Network of Smokers' Helplines at:

For further information:

For further information: or an interview with a physician (or patient)
in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Halifax or Vancouver please contact Christian
Marcoux, Pfizer Canada Inc, (514) 426-6985,;
NATIONAL PharmaCom in: TORONTO, Elisabeth Mozel, Jennifer Acheson, (416)
586-0180,,; MONTREAL, Dan Brennan,
(514) 843-2325,; CALGARY, Laura Bishop, (403) 531-0331,; VANCOUVER, Claire Munroe, Georgia Tsoromocos, (604)
684-6655,,; HALIFAX, Sarah Moses,
Sean Lewis, (902) 420-1860,,

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