Scientists Develop Nicotine Vaccine to Curb Addiction
Article written by guest writer Rin Mitchell
What’s the Latest Development?
In an effort to cut tobacco addiction, researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College have developed a vaccine that “allows the body to make its own monoclonal antibodies against nicotine.” The moment the nicotine enters the bloodstream the vaccine eats it up before it even has a chance to get to the brain. There have been nicotine vaccines tested in the past, but they all failed clinical trials because “they all directly deliver nicotine antibodies, which only last a few weeks and require repeated, expensive injections.” The studies have only been conducted on mice, but researchers hope to test on humans in hopes that it will help the millions of smokers who are trying to quit. The vaccine will only be used for those who truly want to quit smoking. In addition, scientists are researching how the vaccine can be a preventative for people who never smoked before. Researchers think that parents might opt to give their children the vaccine just as they are able to do for HPV—in order to prevent them from smoking.
What’s the Big Idea?
Scientists have developed and tested a vaccine that will help tobacco smokers quit. The vaccine works to contain the nicotine, so it doesn’t make its way to the brain and trigger an addiction. Researchers believe the vaccine will not only help those trying to quit, but that it will be able “to preempt nicotine addiction in individuals who have never smoked, in the same way that vaccines are used now to prevent a number of disease-producing infections.”