There are many new smoking cessation therapies being evaluated. Some are
investigated clinically and some are simply thrown on the market to see if the
consumer will buy it. One thing is for sure though, as our knowledge of human
physiology grows, the current-day medications and therapies will become more
successful. People will be identified as better candidates for one type of therapy
The Nicotine vaccine is currently in clinical phase 2 trials and are showing some
success. They stimulate the production of nicotine antibodies. These antibodies
attach to the nicotine molecule making it too large to cross the blood-brain barrier.
This prevents the "rush" that smokers feel when they use tobacco. Interestingly, the
antibodies from the nicotine vaccine stay active in the body for a couple of months,
which helps with relapse. The tentative smoking cessation rates reported thus far
are around 13%. Much better than most traditional stop smoking aids currently
available on the market today.
One new therapy is called Rimonabant. This was initially developed as an obesity
medication. However, it has a remarkable side-effect, people stopped smoking at a
rate of about 60% by year's end. Despite its success, it does have some toxicity and
infection rate concerns and has therefore, not been approved in the US. Other
medications of this class are being investigated.
Clonidine has been used as a second line anti-smoking medication. It seems best
suited for the individual who suffers from intense withdrawal symptoms. But again,
this has major side-effects which can prevent its use.
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