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Data shows positive results for Champix

Smokers who took Pfizer's Champix were more successful in quitting smoking and abstaining compared with those taking a placebo

Results from a new study show smokers who took Pfizer's Champix (varenicline) were 33.5 per cent more successful in quitting smoking and abstaining during the last four weeks of treatment compared with those taking a placebo.

The multi-centre, double-blind study comprised 499 adult smokers, who had smoked at least 10 cigarettes per day before enrolment, with mild-to-moderate chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) – a condition that up to half of all people who smoke may eventually develop.

"Quitting smoking is of paramount importance for all smokers, particularly those with a smoking-related illness, such as COPD," said Dr Donald Tashkin, study investigator, emeritus Professor of medicine at University of California, Los Angeles.

COPD is characterised by progressive airflow limitation that results in symptoms such as difficulty in breathing, cough and increased production of sputum. It currently affects 210 million people worldwide and according to the American Lung Assoication, is expected to become the third leading cause of death in the world by 2030.

Professor Leonardo Fabbri, study investigator and Professor of Respiratory Medicine at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, said: "Healthcare professionals play a critical role in counselling and supporting patients to stop smoking in order to prevent the development of COPD and other severe chronic diseases, or slow their progression. We must act now to reduce the burden of these devastating diseases across Europe."

5th November 2009

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