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Cigarette smoking is the number one cause of cancer deaths in the US today. Globally, there are 1.3 billion tobacco smokers. 45 million adults (20.9% of adults) in the US currently smoke cigarettes. In addition to lung cancer, cigarette smoking is associated with cancers of the oral cavity/pharynx, ischemic heart disease, pneumonia, poor asthma control, reduced fertility, peptic ulcer disease and low bone density. 70% of smokers want to quit smoking; however, only about 7% of smokers attempting to quit remain smokefree at one year.
Among users of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and cocaine, tobacco users are more like to be addicted (nicotine dependent), than alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine users.The recent approval of Chantix (varencicline) by the FDA in May, 2006 represents a major milestone in curbing nicotine addiction. Chantix is the first non-nicotinic agent for smoking cessation.
In studies leading to the approval by the FDA, Chantix proved significantly superior to the best smoking cessation medication, Zyban (bupropion). The major side effect associated with the use of Chantix was neaseation; therefore, this medication is to be taken on a full stomach with a glass of water. There were no other significant drug-drug interaction. Chantix is given as a starter pack and titrated to a final dose of 1mg twice daily.
Ask your primary care physician for more information regarding this medication if you currently smoke. Every life that is saved by preventing smoking cessation is well worth the effort.
Alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency (AAT) is an underrecognized genetic condition affecting approximately 1 in 2000 to 1 in 5000 individuals and predisposes to liver disease and early onset emphysema. The prevalence of Alpha-1- antitrypsin in the African American population is unknown. Alpha- one-antitrypsin is produced in the liver and functions to protect the lung from proteolytic damage from neutrophil elastase. The Z allele is most commonly responsible for severe deficiency and disease.