Quitting smoker Charles Brinker blames Chantix for tractor rampage

June 27th, 2009 - 7:49 pm ICT by John Le Fevre  

Trying to quit smoking has cost Pennsylvania man Charles Brinker much more than he ever spent on cigarettes after he ended up in court after a withdrawal-fueled rampage with a lawn tractor.

Brinker, from Forks Township, was arrested on May 2 as he drove a Bobcat loader into the rear patio of his home ramming a bar that supported the house structurally.

According to court records, Brinker’s wife Diane was inside the house at the time and the withdrawal-suffering Brinker threatened to tear the house down around her.

When he fronted Northampton County Court charged with reckless endangerment, Brinker blamed the rampage on his attempts to quite smoking.

He told Judge F.P. Kimberly McFadden, “I was on Chantix to quit smoking, and I believe that had a lot to do with it. I’m not a doctor, but I believe it had a lot to do with it.”

Though the couple have now reconciled, Judge McFadden convicted Binker on the misdemeanor charge and sentenced him to 18 months of probation, 15 hours of community service and a fine of $500

Chantix, manufactured by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, has been linked to problems such as heart trouble, seizure, diabetes, depression, and suicide since it first went on sale in 2006.

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices filed a report with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) earlier this year that detailed 988 serious incidents linked to Chantix in the US during last year’s fourth quarter – the most for any medication in that period.

The report caused so much concern that the Federal Aviation Administration banned the use of Chantix by pilots and air-traffic controllers in the wake of it.

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