A vaccine for nicotine was successfully tested on mice
A vaccine against nicotine addiction may soon be available. Researchers announced Wednesday in the latest issue of Science Translational Medicine that trials of the one-dose vaccine aimed at abating nicotine addiction have shown promise in mice, the Wall Street Journal reported.
To conduct the study, researchers inserted a gene for a nicotine antibody into the liver cells of mice. This prevented the majority of the nicotine given to the mice from ever reaching their brains, CBS news reported.
Professor Ronald Crystal, the lead author of the study, told the BBC that years of research is still needed before the vaccine will be made available to the public, however he says these tests show promise.
“As far as we can see, the best way to treat chronic nicotine addiction from smoking is to have these Pacman-like antibodies on patrol, clearing the blood as needed before nicotine can have any biological effect.”
Crystal further explained that the vaccine will work because once a person starts smoking again, “they will receive no pleasure from it due to the nicotine vaccine, and that can help them kick the habit.”
Crystal told CBS his main motivation for creating a vaccine for nicotine was to help society. “It’s enormously costly to our society, not only the suffering, but the amount of health care costs. It’s important for us to develop strategies that will be effective.”