Nearly 70 percent of all smokers want to quit -- and half of them have tried and failed over the last year, according to new numbers from the CDC.
Obviously, it ain't easy.
But if there's anything worse for you than tobacco, it's when the meds that are supposed to help you kick the habit up your suicide and depression risk instead.
And researchers say Chantix, the med most commonly given to smokers, has been found to do exactly that -- with one new analysis concluding that it'll boost your odds of suicide or severe depression by a stunning 800 percent.
Not exactly the type of "quit" you're looking for -- but instead of warning smokers away from the med or even issuing a long-overdue recall for Chantix, the feds are actually defending it.
In fact, the FDA says its own review of data from two studies finds no difference in hospitalization rates for psychiatric problems. So case closed -- go ahead and take your Chantix, smokers.
But before you fill that prescription, read the fine print on that reassuring new message from the FDA -- because the agency admits it didn't bother to look at psychiatric incidents that didn't lead to hospitalization.
In other words, a suicide victim found dead wouldn't count, nor would a seriously depressed person who's never hospitalized (and remember -- many depressed people never seek any help at all).
You know what's even crazier than the fact that the FDA didn't consider non-hospitalizations? It's that the agency actually has that extra data... and didn't even bother to look at it!
That's where the new study comes in, because researchers combed the FDA's own Adverse Event Reporting System and found 3,249 reports of serious self-injury or depression linked to anti-smoking products like meds and nicotine gum since 1998.
Chantix was only on the market four of those 13 years... but was involved in a whopping 2,925 of those cases, or 90 percent of the total.
Try to explain that one, FDA.
Other studies have also made the connection between Chantix use and serious behavioral issues -- and not just suicide and depression. One found that Chantix users are 18 times more likely to be involved in violence than people who take other meds.
Violence, I should point out, also generally doesn't lead to a hospitalization -- although it could certainly end in prison or even death.
Bottom line here: Quitting smoking is a great goal -- and with the New Year fast approaching (already!), it's the one resolution you should put at the top of your list.
But do it without meds.