Nicotine vaccine under development

June 26, 2006

U.S. scientists say new medications might soon be available to help people stop smoking by attacking nicotine addition in the brain.

Patients in a clinical trial at Massachusetts General Hospital last week received their first doses of an experimental vaccine that keeps most nicotine from entering the brain, The Boston Globe reported.

By late summer, Pfizer Inc. said it expects to begin selling a medication that partially blocks a receptor that seems to be involved in smoking addiction. Another drug under development might "dampen" areas of the brain involved in craving, thus helping smokers quit without gaining much weight, The Globe said.

"For the first time in 10 years, we have completely new approaches for smoking cessation, and there is hope that the new drugs, because they better target the brain's addiction response, could prove more effective than current treatments," said Dr. Nancy Rigotti, director of the hospital's Tobacco Research and Treatment Center.

The National Institutes of Health says of the 44 million Americans who smoke, about 70 percent want to quit and 40 percent really try. But in a given year, fewer than 5 percent of would-be quitters succeed in kicking the habit.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Increasing cigarette taxes shifts consumers to more dangerous products

Related Stories

Smoking mind over smoking matter

July 13, 2010

Nicotine patches and gum are common -- and often ineffective -- ways of fighting cigarette cravings, as most smokers have discovered. Now a new study from Tel Aviv University shows why they're ineffective, and may provide ...

Rodent smoke screen

December 8, 2009

Rats passively exposed to tobacco smoke become dependent on nicotine, according to a new study by Dr. Adrie Bruijnzeel and colleagues from the University of Florida in the US. Their findings of how rats' brains respond to ...

Roll-your-own tobacco could be more addictive

January 12, 2011

Research carried out at Victoria University suggests smokers of roll-your-own tobacco may be more intensely addicted to the habit than those who puff on manufactured cigarettes.

Recommended for you

NASA's space-station resupply missions to relaunch

November 29, 2015

NASA's commercial space program returns to flight this week as one of its private cargo haulers, Orbital ATK, is to launch its first supply shipment to the International Space Station in more than 13 months.

CERN collides heavy nuclei at new record high energy

November 25, 2015

The world's most powerful accelerator, the 27 km long Large Hadron Collider (LHC) operating at CERN in Geneva established collisions between lead nuclei, this morning, at the highest energies ever. The LHC has been colliding ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.