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    Chantix Helps Smokers Kick Habit

    2 Studies Show New Drug 3 Times as Effective as Placebo

    Plant-Based Cure Underused?

    In related news, a Swiss researcher reports that cytisine, a plant-derived medication used to treat tobacco dependence in Eastern Europe for four decades, may be an effective, but highly underutilized alternative.

    Jean-Francois Etter, PhD, MPH, of the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine at the University of Geneva in Switzerland, cites as a reason the fact that existing studies on the chemical are not published in English.

    The substance is found in a plant known as the golden rain tree, or Cytisus laburnum. During World War II, smokers used leaves from this plant as a tobacco substitute.

    In fact, Chantix is derived from the same plant.

    Cytisine is now marketed for smoking cessationsmoking cessation under the name Tabex by a Bulgarian company.

    In a review of 10 studies from Bulgaria, Germany, Poland, and Russia, dating from 1967 to 2005 and involving 4,404 smokers, this plant-based agent was found to be effective in helping people quit smokingquit smoking.

    It's a travesty that "an apparently effective treatment for the first avoidable cause of death in developed countries remained largely unnoticed despite research published during the past 40 years," Etter writes in his report, also published in the same issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

    "How many other effective drugs are there for which efficacy remained unnoticed because existing trials were not published in English in Western countries?" he asks.

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