Smoking: New research helps itch to quit

Sep 13, 2009

European scientists said Sunday they could explain why nicotine patches designed to help smokers kick their habit can cause skin irritation.

Nicotine activates a so-called ion channel in skin cells that unleashes an inflammatory response by the , leading to itching, they reported in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

Previously, the irritation had been blamed on stimulation of special receptors on nerve cells, causing pain signals to be sent to the brain.

The investigation, carried out on that had been genetically modified to lack the TRPA-1 ion channel, was led by Karel Talavera of the Leuven Catholic University, near Brussels.

The discovery could pave the way to smoking therapies with fewer side effects, the authors say.

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: Researcher discusses a new study on correlations among medical problems

Related Stories

Two Nicotine Addiction Puzzles Explained

Aug 02, 2007

The stranglehold of nicotine addiction leads to more than four million smoking-related deaths each year. Scientists at the California Institute of Technology have now explained two roots of that addiction. The discoveries ...

Recommended for you

WHO says too few countries taxing tobacco products enough

1 hour ago

Taxing cigarettes up to 75 percent of their retail price is among the most effective ways to reduce tobacco use, but too few governments levy high enough taxes, according to a World Health Organization global report released ...

Can four fish oil pills a day keep the doctor away?

2 hours ago

Fish oil is one of the most popular dietary supplements in the U.S. because of the perceived cardiovascular benefits of the omega-3 it contains. However, scientific findings on its effectiveness have been conflicting. New ...

User comments : 0

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.