Smokers Could Benefit from Nicotine Vaccine
Every year, about 443,000 Americans die from smoking-related deaths and almost 8.6 million have an illness related to smoking. Professor Mike Zhang at Virginia Tech hopes the new nicotine vaccine they are developing may help people quit smoking.
Zhang states that the vaccine works by “using biodegradable nanoparticles to block nicotine molecules from entering the brain,” which removes the nicotine high from the process of smoking (McCluskey, 2014). It is Zhang’s belief that blocking the pleasure response associated with nicotine use will deter people from smoking and help current smokers quit.
“Nicotine is one of the most dependency-inducing drugs out there,” Zhang comments. “I had an aunt who was a heavy smoker and died of lung cancer. It was hard to see her struggle with addiction. Our vaccine will hopefully boost the rates of those who are able to quit smoking once they decide they are ready” (McCluskey, 2014).
McCluskey, B. (2014). Nicotine vaccine could help smokers kick the habit. Retrieved from http://www.thefix.com/content/nicotine-vaccine-could-help-smokers-kick-habit