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Soon, a vaccine to help quit smoking

Source: PTI
November 19, 2009 15:58 IST
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In a good news for those who find it hard to kick the butt, a new vaccine which would help them quit smoking would soon be available in the market.

The injectable vaccine works by preventing nicotine in tobacco entering the brain, where it creates an addictive sensation of pleasure. It could help millions of smokers to quit the habit, developers believe.

Trials of the vaccine, being developed by United States-based Nabi Pharmaceuticals in cooperation with Britain's GlaxoSmithKline, have shown it can halve the number of people who return to smoking after trying to give up, The Telegraph reported.

"If approved, this technology could be a novel solution to help the millions of smokers who want to stop smoking and remain abstinent; a habit that is very well documented to be very hard to stop permanently," Jean Stephenne, president of GSK's Biologicals division said.

The vaccine could help prevent millions of smoking related deaths around the world, if successful. Figures from the American Lung Association suggest that relapse rates among smokers are as high as 90 per cent within a year of quitting.

In India, which is the second largest consumer and third largest producer of tobacco in the world, a recent health survey has shown an increase in trend of tobacco consumption.

According to the latest National Family Health Survey, 57 per cent males and 10.9 per cent females reportedly consume tobacco in the country. Out of this, 32.7 per cent men and 1.4 per cent women are smokers.

Prevalence of bidi smoking is around 54 per cent and that of cigarette is 16 per cent.

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