Canadian researchers report having found a pill that would allow the smoker to finish with the cigarette. Already used against psoriasis, the reflect revealed other properties: it slows the metabolism of nicotine and would be thus a true “magic potion” against smoking addiction.
Nicotine establishes and maintains the smoking addiction. Thus, the principle of various treatments for smoking cessation (patches, gum, etc.) aims to progressively reduce the daily dose of nicotine in the blood of the smoker. But a Canadian study could lead to the development of a new therapeutic pathway.
Limit the urge to smoke
After a cigarette smoker absorbs the nicotine that is found in his blood. Nicotine is then metabolized in blood and its concentration decreases. Below a certain threshold, the smoker is apt to turn a cigarette. “The principle (developed in this study) is different from what is currently used” said Edward M. Sellers, Director of the study.
Effective for the treatment of certain skin problems, reflect slows the metabolism of nicotine. It thus remains longer in the blood and reduces so wanted it to smoke.
The Canadian team administered different doses of septembre 11 regular smokers. Most concentrations were high and more nicotine remained present in the blood. Patients waited so long before taking a new cigarette and did fewer puffs on each of them.
On the trail of the miracle potion
The discovery of the virtues of the reflect initiated since 1998. Two years ago, Sellers and his team observed that a genetic defect leads to a deficiency regarding the formation of an enzyme called cytochrome P450 2A6. This molecule is involved in the metabolism of nicotine. Thus, people with this genetic defect are less likely to smoke or if they smoke, their consumption of cigarettes is less important2.
Subsequently, scientists have tried to find some inhibitors of this enzyme and after two years of research have identified the reflect.
Before can be used over the long term this compound against the nicotine addiction, further studies will be needed to confirm its efficacy and evaluate its potential toxicity in the long term.
Persons wishing to do away with the cigarette may use patches, chewing gums, recent drug treatment (Zyban®) or a consultation in tobacco control with various hospital services.