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Saturday, 29 July 2006 08:24
BNN: British Nursing News Online · www.bnn-online.co.uk
Beat a fag with a jag
Doctors in the United States are testing a new way to help smokers quit with an injection that "immunises" them against the nicotine rush that fuels their addiction.

Trials are under way in America on a vaccination which experts believe will help addicts kick the killer weed.

Doctors hope the treatment will make the immune system attack nicotine in the same way it would fight a germ.

They hope the vaccinations will stop nicotine reaching the brain, making smoking less pleasurable and easier to give up.

If it works, the vaccine could revolutionise anti-smoking treatments.

Most current treatments simply replace the nicotine from cigarettes in a less harmful way, using gum, lozenges, patches and nasal sprays.

Vaccines are now being developed by a number of companies, but NicVax, by Florida - based Nabi Biopharmaceuticals, are leading the way.

After four smaller studies suggested it may be safe and effective, a full-scale trial involving 300 smokers is under way.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse has given a second 2.2million grant to finance the study.

And US authorities have granted the vaccine fast track status, meaning it will get a prompt review.


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