Doctors Testing Nicotine Vaccine That Could One Day Prevent Smoking

NicotinevaccineA team led by Dr. Ronald G. Crystal, chairman and professor of Genetic Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College in the Big Apple, have tested a vaccine that protects the brain from nicotine.

CBS News reports:

Much like vaccines for diseases that create antibodies to fight infection, the vaccine creates antibodies against nicotine. However, previous attempts at similar vaccines have failed because within a few weeks the antibodies are gone, which won't exactly help people stay smoke-free.

Crystal's team developed a vaccine that contains a virus consisting of a genetic sequence they engineered from a nicotine antibody, and injected it into the liver of mice. The injection genetically modifies the liver to churn out nicotine antibodies, along with other cells it typically makes, thus providing a nicotine antibody "factory" in the body…

The antibodies then work by targeting the nicotine cells within seconds of exposure and preventing them from reaching receptors in the brain that provide the "chill out" feeling, as Crystal called it.

The vaccine, which Crystal says could be tested on humans within a few years, would most likely be a preventative measure. Using it while trying to quit would, in essence, be like quitting cold turkey, and who needs a shot for that?

Comments

  1. NOSH says

    Wouldn’t it be substantially different? If you were smoking five packs a day and you injected this, yeah you would be in hell because you couldn’t get nicotine to your receptors but you also couldn’t cheat and smoke, because it would be useless. So, it protects you from yourself and would useful even to people who want to quit cold turkey.

  2. hamoboy says

    Of course, there’ll always be that subset of people who smoke because it looks “cool”. They probably won’t decrease in number. In fact, it might make smoking seem even cooler if you’re doing it without enjoying it. But yes, less addictive = WIN for almost everyone!

  3. shawnthesheep says

    Seriously, the first thought when reading this article is a fear that they might one day develop an anti-gay vaccine? How ridiculous.

  4. THE QUEEN says

    NOT RIDICULOUS. IN FACT, THE ANTI-GAY VACCINE IS BEING DEVELOPED EVEN AS WE SPEAK AND IS TAKEN FROM THE DNA OF 5 DIFFERENT REPUBLICANS IN CONGRESS WHO APPROVE OF ANTI-GAY LEGISLATION.

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