Some of you may have heard rumours that there will be additional “free” leave next year if you are a non-smoker. These rumours are true, but in order to qualify you would need to have been a non-smoker for 6 months by November.

To help with this, I reached out to Riaan from HealtyWorx to share some advice on how to quit smoking.

Champix, A Drug That Helps Smokers Quit. 
But What Are The Benefits And Risks?

Champix is a scripted drug used to help people to quit smoking and contains a drug called Varenicline. It is basically known to work by blocking nicotine receptors in your brain. A therapy like this is usually reserved for long-term smokers who are smoking many cigarettes per day, and have been struggling to quit with multiple attempts.

Why Use It?

Simply put: The Stuff Works! Looking at the graph above, most research agrees that Champix roughly doubles your chances of quitting smoking successfully in the long term compared to going it alone” this success rate is not really disputed, and is the main reason that GPs are increasingly using Champix to help their patients reduce their serious risk of illness due to smoking.

What Are The Risks Of Using Champix?

Firstly, it is important for people to realise that Champix doesn’t quit for you. A closer inspection of statistics in the graph below will help you realise that even with Chanpix being used only about 25% of people who try to quit smoking and are willing to take a drug to help them quit are successful in the long term. Quitting smoking is hard and using multiples strategies like setting a quitting date, telling friends and family to create positive social pressure, and identifying your smoking triggers and staying clear of them whenever possible, will add to your chances of being successful very significantly. No drug will do that for you.


Secondly, like any drug, Champix has side effects. The most concerning one’s are risk to existing cardiovascular disease patients, and a risk to anyone with a history of mental illness such as depression or anxiety. This is the reason that you cannot get Champix without a prescription from a Dr. So when you see your GP to discuss the possibility of Champix, be open and honest regarding your medical and mental-health history. Your doctor has experience and knowledge which is worth trusting with regards to your health.

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