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New Vaccine Aimed at Smokers

Could help millions who try to quit

(HealthDay) -- About four million people a year try to quit smoking, but relapse within a matter of days.

A new anti-smoking vaccine might hold promise for some of those people, according to an article from the BBC. Clinical trials of the vaccine have been launched in Belgium. The vaccine, known as TA-NIC, stops nicotine from reaching the brain, preventing addiction. Current tests are focused on determining safe dosage levels.

There are more than one billion smokers worldwide, and about four million die each year from smoking-related illnesses, including cancer and heart disease. Nicotine chewing gum and patches have gained in popularity in recent years among smokers who want to quit. But the new vaccine operates on a different level. Normally, nicotine passes into the brain from the blood, allowing smokers to become addicted. The vaccine stimulates the body's immune system to produce antibodies that bind to the nicotine molecules, according to the article. Those molecules are then too big to get into the brain and the addiction subsides.

The company developing the vaccine, Xenova, says it could be on the market within five years if all goes well. But experts note that the vaccine is still at an early stage of development.

Want to help someone quit smoking? Be supportive, but don't nag. For those and other tips, you can visit this site from An anti-anxiety drug called bupropion also holds some promise for those who want to quit smoking. For more information on that, you can read this from

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