Taking the smoking cessation drug Chantix for a month before trying to quit smoking may boost success rates, according to a new study.
While people usually take Chantix, or varenicline, one week before their “quit date,” the new study found smoking cessation rates were higher in people who started four weeks before they stopped smoking, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The researchers write in the Archives of Internal Medicine that 47.2 percent of people who started taking the drug a month before their quit date were still smoke-free after three months, compared with 20.8 percent of those who took three weeks of a placebo pill followed by one week of Chantix before their quit date. Participants in the study didn’t know if they were receiving four weeks of Chantix or three weeks of a placebo plus a week of Chantix. All participants continued taking Chantix for three months after they quit smoking.
The researchers said that Chantix may also help “hard-core” smokers reduce the number of cigarettes they smoke even if they can’t quit.