A New Vaccine Is Not the Way to Help People Stop Smoking

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Filed Under: Useless Medicine, General Health
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

A New Vaccine Is Not the Way to Help People Stop Smoking

We all know that smoking is unhealthy. But creating a new vaccine to interfere with the effects of nicotine is not the solution. Yet that’s exactly what may be coming down the pike.

Researchers at the Weill Cornell Medical College in New York are using a genetically modified virus to create a vaccine that contains an antibody to destroy nicotine—the most addictive component of cigarettes—before it reaches the brain.

It’s been tested in mice with results showing it has the potential to reduce nicotine levels in the brain to just 15% of the levels in mice who were not vaccinated. The theory is that by reducing nicotine and thus the addictive pleasure of cigarettes, this vaccine will help people stop smoking.

I’m all for smoking cessation. Tobacco smoke contains tar, benzene, acetone, and thousands of other chemicals, including 50 known carcinogens. Of course it’s important to quit. But until we have crystal clear proof of safety and efficacy, which will take years and years of clinical trials, pumping syringes full of genetically engineered antibodies into smokers is not the answer.

What is the solution for quitting smoking? First off, you need to realize that there’s a huge payoff for your health. For example, within 20 minutes of your last cigarette your blood pressure and pulse rate return to normal and after one year your risk of heart disease declines by 50%. Cancer rates—and not just lung cancer—drop. Smoking cessation also dramatically improves erectile function.

If you need help kicking the nicotine addiction, there’s a product called Sulfonil that binds with the nicotine receptors and blocks the cravings even more effectively than the nicotine itself. In fact, I wrote an entire blog filled with information to help you stop smoking. But creating another new vaccine to help smokers kick the habit is a ridiculous, and potentially dangerous, solution.

Now it’s your turn: What’s your opinion about an anti-smoking vaccine?

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