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Quit smoking aids - latest methods to stop smoking bird

Just flown in... news, research and trials on the world's latest quit smoking aids.

Here are the latest research, safety, successes and conclusions.

As news arrives about new ideas on the market, we list them here for you. Aren't we nice!

Really we want to save you all the hassle and huff so you can make good decisions.

Beware of hype in the marketing of these stop smoking aids—remember permanent, safe and healthy quitting must come from you, not a drug.

Now rolling out the latest . . .

Nicotine Replacement Drink called NIC Lite(R):

Hailed by US company NIC Lite, as the answer to smokers who don't like to be stuck on a plane or elsewhere without getting their nicotine fix. Described as a refreshing drink of nicotine and lemon flavored water, it is planned to have it available at all major airports for travellers.

Each bottle contains 4 mg of purified organic nicotine (two cigarettes worth) infused in water.

It is not intended as a stop smoking aid, rather to help smokers over a patch of time when they can't smoke, such as during travel, in restaurants, bars, theatres and other public places.

It's certainly healthier than smoking, plus there's no sidestream smoke to annoy others. Unfortunately when you read the ingredients, the list includes Potassium benzoate. This preservative has hit the news lately and is being investigated by the FDA, as in combination with vitamin C, it can form Benzene, a known carcinogen and trigger of asthma and allergies.

Another worry is that although NIC Lite(R) is not recommended for people under 18, it comes in an attractive blue bottle, and the drugs in this drink would be dangerous to small children.


For poor lifestyle choices that cause chronic health problems and avoidable early deaths, there is a new era of vaccine research. Whether smoking, cocaine, obesity, cancer, heart disease and other problems can be helped—has yet to be proved.

These new lifestyle vaccines employ the body's natural immune system. Instead of building antibodies to destroy germs as traditional vaccines do, they construct antibodies that lock onto nicotine and cocaine molecules, preventing them from reaching the brain, or in effect neutralizing them. Thus the nicotine for example does not enter the brain and produce the addictive sensation craved by smokers.

In the case of the obesity vaccine, antibodies attach to the hunger protein called ghrelin, preventing it from reaching the brain and stimulating appetite.

Unlike most older vaccines, which tend to confer permanent immunity, the new vaccines are reversible, providing immunity against nicotine, cocaine or the hunger hormone ghrelin for one to three months before booster shots are needed.

Currently there is limited proven data on results, or side effects available, apart from flu-like symptoms.

Vaccine contenders are:

  • Cytos Biotechnology, a Swiss pharmaceutical company, who recently tested 159 smokers with their vaccine, code-named CYT002-NicQb. So far they claim 40% of people reported back saying that they had given up smoking.

    2008: Cytos Biotechnology's CEO announces they are on track to examine their new drug's efficacy and safety in a Phase 111 clinical trial.

  • Ta-Nic is still in trial stage by Xenova in UK. It is injected fortnightly into muscles with the idea to counter any pleasurable effects of smoking.

  • NicVax, trialling from Nabi Pharmaceuticals in Florida, is also billed as an anti-smoking vaccine.

    Update: A one year study of NicVax including smoking cessation counselling starts at ten US medical centers including Massachusetts General Hospital. A spokesperson says that quitting still won't be easy for some people, but the vaccine so far has proved to be safe as a stop smoking aid and could provide much needed help.

Virtual coaches:

Online digitised helper for smokers to turn to for quitting. Dutch anti-smoking group Stivoro are designing a 24 hours web based help site. There will be a programmed autoresponder with advice, made to look and sound similar to human counsellors, who will reply to smokers' questions.

Stop Smoking Cream:

A transdermal method of delivering a combination of soothing herbs to help with stress and nicotine cravings.

Smokeless Tobacco products:

Products such as Snus, Snuff, Chewing or Spit Tobacco, and Lozenges, are in the news lately as it has been suggested they are a potential aid to harm reduction or smoking cessation. They are also an alternative to smoking because of passive smoke health issues and public smoking bans.

Health researchers and tobacco control advocates disagree, and have refused to endorse them as stop smoking aids because they are still dangerous, still habit forming that cost money and overall health and they have a particularly high rate of causing mouth cancer, often at a young age.

A new twist on Nicotine Replacement Therapy:

From Auckland University NZ, it shows there may be a possibility that starting a nicotine substitute some weeks before quitting may be beneficial. The idea under investigation is that rather than smokers having the double stress of remembering to use their replacement delivery, plus quitting, they start one before the other.

Linkman Habit Reversal Tool:

From Brady Development, Inc. US. Invented with the idea to alleviate the irritable effects of nicotine withdrawal. It is a battery-powered, cigarette shaped pendant to either wear or carry on a keychain and a smoker clicks on a button to see if it's time to smoke or not. To wean a smoker off smoking, the smoker gets a green light spaced over increasing time periods, or if too soon, they get a flashing red light.

Cost is US$99.95.

Injections of drugs:

This is a new, though obviously risky procedure offered by Welplex, as a franchise through doctors' offices.

Costing US$400 at a Nashville US office, it's being touted as a way to quit smoking. It involves a series of shots, followed by a period of pills or patches.

There's no proof offered and medical experts are warning people that it can be dangerous. It can cause hallucinations, heart palpitations, paranoia and other serious side effects, including heart attack and coma, experts say. Lesser symptoms even sound nasty, such as: dizziness, blurred vision, and difficulty urinating.

The patented treatment includes three drugs — atropine, scopolamine and chlorpromazine&mdash:that act "to block the central nicotine receptors in the brain," according to Welplex's documents.

These drugs called anticholinergics, block chemicals involved in the nervous system. They have never been used in combination before and individually are known for treating Parkinson's disease, motion sickness, gastrointestinal diseases, and part of surgical anaesthesia. Medically, atropine is typically used to dilate the eyes, scopolamine for motion sickness and chlorpromazine for psychiatric illness.


is being researched at Yale University, as a way to quit smoking without weight gain.

Another pill—Rimonabant:

Marketed as Acomplia by French pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Synthelabo. The idea is to help nicotine cravings when people quit smoking, by latching on to the same reward brain receptors that nicotine binds to. No data on results or side effects.

Latest: Announcement that Rimonabant is now in Houston US for weight loss, and being trialled further for quitting smoking.

Somaxon Pharmaceuticals:

They have announced that their oral Nalmefene Hydrochloride, an opiate antagonist under development by the company, has demonstrated positive results in a pilot phase II clinical trial for smoking cessation. So far there's only one study of 76 smokers completed and no statistics published Somaxon is also currently evaluating nalmefene in the treatment of pathological gambling, with results from a large clinical trial expected early next year.

VITA-C TOBACCO manufacturer:

From Montreal, Canada they have completed their first certificate of laboratory analysis on their Vitaminized Cigarette VITA-CIG. The inventor, Roger Ouellette, says his company is the first in the world to offer a cigarette containing antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and thus less harmful than normal cigarettes.

BioProgress PLC:

A specialty pharma and healthcare company, they have announced a patent for their orally dissolving thin strip of nicotine. BioProgress has developed a sub-lingual film offering a rapidly absorbed low dose of nicotine. They are currently talking with a number of strategic partners in relation to the commercialization of this product.

A Smokeless and tobacco-free cigarette:

Called NicStic, from Swiss inventors. It uses a rechargeable heating coil in a plastic cigarette-sized stick to dispense nicotine without smoke. It's not so much a smoking cessation device, but more a method of getting nicotine without lighting up and creating side-stream smoke. The cost is planned to be similar to normal cigarettes.

Bravo Smokes Corporation have introduced BRAVO® Smokes:

Nicotine-free cigarettes made from lettuce leaves. These leaves are cured, blended and naturally flavored in a patented biochemical process. A person still smokes, but there's no nicotine in the cigarettes, so according the company, there's no craving for it. They go on to state, "All that's required is a 'personal commitment' to quit smoking."

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