Myth: Medication to quit smoking is dangerous.
Truth: This is false.
Cigarette smoking leads to an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, heart disease, heart failure, and death. For this reason, cigarettes are the major cause of cardiovascular disease. There are medications to help patients stop smoking successfully. The three common medications are nicotine-replacement therapy (Nicorette, Nicoderm, and Habitrol), varenicline (Champix or Chantix), and bupropion (Zyban). These medications may affect cardiac health by increasing heart rate, and blood pressure or possibly, affecting the cells lining the blood vessel walls.
A study published in JAMA International Medicine investigated the effects of the medications. The study concluded that there were no significant differences in regard to cardiovascular events between the medications versus the placebo pill. As a result, medications used to help individuals quit smoking are safe and effective. Read more about the study here.
- Benowitz NL, Pipe A, West R, et al. Cardiovascular safety of varenicline, bupropion, and nicotine. Patch in smokers: A randomized clinical trial. JAMA Intern Med. 2018. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.0397