FDA OKs Pfizer smoking cessation drug

The FDA has approved Pfizer's smoking cessation drug Chantix, marking only the second such approval for that class of nicotine-free therapies. Chantix works by killing the pleasure of smoking and reducing smokers' craving for tobacco. One recent study concluded that 22 percent of subjects taking Chantix were able to stop smoking compared to 16 percent of subjects taking the approved smoking cessation drug Zyban. About 8 percent of patients taking a placebo gave up the habit.

"As everyone knows, it is extremely difficult to quit smoking," said Karen Katen, Pfizer vice chairman and president of Pfizer Human Health. "For example, less than 7 percent of smokers who try to quit on their own achieve more than one year of abstinence. In fact, most smokers begin smoking again within a few days of attempting to quit. It takes about 10 attempts--with or without treatment--before the average smoker is able to quit."

- read the AP report on Chantix