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Smoking “vaccine” Could Help Users to Quit

Posted on the 28 June 2012 by Periscope @periscopepost
Smoking vaccine A smoking vaccine is being developed. Photocredit: b0r0da

The background

Smokers rejoice! Scientists at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York are developing a jab which could protect people from cravings, and also prevent the physical effects of tobacco. It could even be used to vaccinate children, reported The Telegraph.  One fifth of Britons smoke, with most starting whilst teenagers. 80 per cent of smokers start again after six months.

So far the “vaccine” has only worked on mice, but human tests will be developed soon. It works by “genetically engineering an antibody that filters out nicotine when it enters the blood,” effectively cleaning the blood. Dr Crystal, of Weill Cornell, compared the antibodies to Pacman. It is, basically, a genetically engineered virus. which has the information for making nicotine antibodies. The research was published in Science Translational Medicine.

Great, but it only works on mice. And is it ethical?

Darren Griffin, a professor of genetics at Kent University, was quoted on The Daily Mail, warning that “what worked in mice did not always work in man.” Toxicologist Prof Anthony Dayan threw his hat into the ring too, saying that it might not be considered ethical to physically engineer a change in people’s body simply to prevent nicotine addiction.

Sucking the fun out of smoking

The Politicalincorrection blog said, “basically, it’s just sucking the fun out of smoking.” Which “sounds promising, but who knows what else it’s blocking your pleasure neurotoxotransmitterwhatevers from?” Imagine if you lost the urge to “smoke weed? Then there would be no fun in smoking weed and the only purpose it would have would be medical and to help design Lady Gaga’s wardrobe.”


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