They’re called varenicline and cytisine; members of a family of stop-smoking medicines called “nicotine receptor partial agonists”. They work by stopping nicotine from binding to receptors in the brain and reducing the rewarding effects of smoking while stimulating the brain to reduce nicotine withdrawal and the cravings caused by quitting.
Varenicline (brand names: Champix and Chantix) is an effective drug for treating tobacco addiction and is on the World Health Organization’s list of essential medicines. This means that it is used to address an important health concern and everyone should have access to it.
Read the full story on the Conversation website co-authored by Jonathan Livingstone-Banks and Nicola Lindson from the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford.