Stop Smoking – A Smoking Vaccine?
A Smoking Vaccine to stop smoking?
Despite the numerous benefits associated with giving up smoking, stop smoking remains a major challenge for most smokers, even those who really want to stop smoking.
New Stop Smoking medication
A new anti-tobacco medication currently being studied could soon give some much-needed help to these people who want to stop smoking.
Each year, smoking is responsible for five million deaths in the world. And the situation isn’t getting better.
It is estimated that, if nothing is done, smoking will cause 500 million premature deaths over the next 40 years.
This devastating effect of smoking is due to a massive increase in the risk of lung cancer (40 times higher among smokers), cardiovascular disease (four times higher) and lung disease (115 times higher).
The combination of these diseases causes, as of the mid-30s, a three-month reduction in life expectancy for each year a person smokes.
It goes without saying that with such a negative impact on our health, quitting smoking is far and away the best decision a smoker can make, Unfortunately, it’s a lot easier said than done.
In fact, more than 95% who try to Stop Smoking stop smoking are unable to do so without medical assistance, a failure attributed to a strong dependence on nicotine. It is, however, possible to improve these odds using a medicinal approach based on substitutes for the drug (the patch, for instance).
On average, these substitutes to stop smoking increase by about two times the short-term success rate of quitting, with a success rate of about 18% after six months, compared to 10% with a placebo. In the long term, however, the absence of nicotine can be felt by certain people, leading to relapse.
Another stop smiking approach recently developed is based on the administration of an anti-nicotine vaccine.
Stop Smoking vacine concept is as follows:
First, a nicotine preparation is administered to smokers to provoke an immune system response and the production of specific antibodies that fight the drug.
When the nicotine enters the circulation following inhalation of a cigarette, these antibodies react with the nicotine compound and neutralize it, preventing it from reaching the brain and stimulating the nerves involved in addiction.
The preliminary results of this vaccine campaign are encouraging: Among smokers who responded well to the vaccine, meaning those with higher levels of anti-nicotine antibodies, the success rate of stop smoking is much higher than those who didn’t receive the vaccine (25% compared to 12% after two months).
More interestingly, the success rate remained high more than a year after treatment (16% vs. 6% for the placebo). Because immune system responses to vaccines last a long time in most cases, it is likely that the long-term presence of anti-nicotine antibodies in the blood of ex-smokers continues to protect them, reducing the risk of relapse.
Studies on a larger scale are underway with the vaccine and if the results remain positive, we can expect that this treatment will be available in a few years and all smokers can soon stop smoking.
US Surgeon General has said, “Smoking cessation (stop smoking) represents the single most important step that smokers can take to enhance the length and quality of their lives.”