Tag Archives: nicotine

New nicotine vaccine could help smokers quit

According to data collected by the American Cancer Society, 70 percent of smokers want to quit altogether, 7 percent actually succeed at quitting smoking their first time, and 3.5 percent quit smoking cold turkey. These statistics are already extremely unsettling. Even though 40 percent of smokers tried to quit in 2015, half of smokers will relapse into smoking while intoxicated with alcohol.

Graphic from http://rcnky.com/
50 percent of smokers will not succeed in quitting on their first try. Graphic from http://rcnky.com/

These statistics even come into play with individuals who are underage. According to data collected by the Centers for Disease Control, 80 percent of smokers began smoking before the age of 18, while 90 percent began smoking before the age of 21. 3,900 teens begin smoking each day, totaling 600,000 teens each year. What’s disturbing is that 11 percent of middle school students reported having smoked. That means 11 percent of pre-teens between the ages of 11 and 14.

A successful vaccine to assist individuals in quitting smoking for good has been difficult to discover. According to a report in ACS’s Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, a new vaccine for quitting smoking has been designed.

Over half of smokers who want to quit will not succeed in quitting their first time. There are several ways to quit smoking available. Smokers can quit cold turkey, use behavioral therapy, nicotine replacement therapy (nicotine gum, patches, inhalers, spray, and lozenges), and medicine like Zyban and Chantix. These tools are readily available, but aren’t always effective, and may even have undesirable side effects.

This new vaccine design would target the nicotine molecule directly. Two individuals participated in a clinical study of the vaccine which ultimately failed. However, the clinical study provided worthwhile pieces of information, that scientists could improve upon.

The trials indicated that the individuals who produced the most elevated amounts of anti-nicotine antibodies were more likely to refrain from smoking for more than six months. Kim D. Janda, Ph.D., and fellow researchers from The Scripps Research Institute wanted to expand on this discovery.

The team designed a new vaccine that could raise the amount of antibodies that could attach to nicotine molecules.

While testing in mice, they discovered that the vaccine deferred the effects of nicotine after injection within the initial 10 minute period. Additionally, they discovered that the mice treated with the vaccine had lower concentrations of nicotine in their brains, which is where nicotine has its effects. The team expressed that their future endeavors will concentrate on further perfecting the formula of the vaccine to prepare it for potential clinical studies.

Electronic cigarettes are why you should quit smoking

If you’re like me, you’ve thought about how to quit smoking for weeks now. You know smoking cigarettes is really bad for you and you can see how it physically and mentally affects you.

I’ve noticed that I cough much more frequently than I did before, as well as wheezing and low stamina. Smoking also affects my voice, speaking and singing. I wake up in the morning with a sore throat and with a hoarse tone, making it even harder for my singing voice to perform in the way I want it to.

Given all these valid factors of why I need to stop smoking, it has been way harder than I thought it would be. I never realized how addicted I would get to cigarettes or how dependent I would become on them.

I’ve gone through most of the ways to quit smoking including stopping cold turkey, electronic cigarettes, vapes, and slowly smoking less and less until finally I would stop smoking completely. These are all valid ways of quitting; however, for me, the only way that would work would be using an e-cig. This way, I can still have the motion of smoking without the consequences.

Are you trying to quit smoking? Graphic from AvailVapor
Are you trying to quit smoking? http://availvapor.com/subox-mini

An electronic cigarette is a cigarette-shaped device containing a nicotine-based liquid that is vaporized and inhaled, used to simulate the experience of smoking tobacco. The experience when smoking an e-cig is the same as a cigarette.

The only difference is an e-cig doesn’t contain the harmful carcinogens that are in tobacco making it less dangerous than cigarettes. Most people I have talked to about quitting say the reason they like smoking is because of the motion of smoking, bringing the cigarette to your mouth, inhaling, and exhaling out the smoke.

Seeing the smoke is one of the main reasons I enjoy smoking. With e-cigs, you can still obtain that feeling and motion of smoking but with a vapor and ingredients that are healthier for you.

Another benefit of smoking an e-cig is the nicotine variance and flavor. Electronic cigarettes use liquid nicotine that is injected into the machine, varying in flavor and nicotine levels. Depending on how often and what brand of cigarettes you smoke, the nicotine level will vary.

Along with nicotine variance, the nice thing about e-cigs is they come with many different flavors. My least favorite part about smoking is the after-taste. With e-cigs you don’t have to worry about that. Although, if you do enjoy the flavor of tobacco, most electronic cigarette stores carry that flavor as well.

When smoking cigarettes, one of the main complaints I receive from my friends is the smell. The smell of cigarettes is not enjoyable for you or the people around you. With e-cigs, the vapor that you exhale isn’t as strong as cigarettes and the smell doesn’t stick to your clothes or in your hair. You won’t have to worry about smelling like an ashtray ever again.

If you’re looking to quit smoking, e-cigs are your best bet. They allow you to still feel as though you’re smoking but they’re better for you and are a good stepping stone on the way to quitting for good.

Secondhand smoke affects everything around you — even plants

It’s not new information that, over time, secondhand smoke is just as dangerous as actually smoking. However, a new study shows that it’s not just the people around you who are negatively affected by secondhand smoke–plants also suffer due to the toxic exposure.

The study was done in Germany at the Technical University of Braunschweig. The findings indicated something highly alarming, although not altogether surprising for people against cigarettes–plants can absorb nicotine from secondhand smoke.

Nicotine itself is natural. While it’s mostly associated with tobacco, other vegetables do naturally contain low volumes of the chemical (such as eggplants and tomatoes). Despite its being found in nature, nicotine can be dangerous to humans in high doses. According to MetroHealth.org, nicotine “causes a short-term increase in blood pressure, heart rate, and the flow of blood from the heart. It also causes the arteries to narrow.” It’s not rocket science to see that all of these side effects can led up to massive heart problems.Cigarette_smoking

The lead author of the study, Dirk Selmar, watched the plants’ progress as they were exposed to the secondhand smoke over time. At first, he wrote that there seemed to be no real effect on the growth or overall health of the plants. As time wore on and nicotine levels were tested, it became apparent that the plants had, “tremendously elevated nicotine levels”.

This problem had been seen before, when farmers used to use pesticides containing nicotine. Since the chemical occurs naturally in some vegetables, people believed that nicotine-based pesticides were the future of organic farming. Studies came out disproving that theory and showed the real dangers that high levels of nicotine can have on the human body, leading to the pesticides being banned in the United States and Europe.

Despite the ban on these pesticides, Selmar acknowledges that using cigarette tobacco as mulch is still a common pest-control technique and can also spread nicotine through the plants. This is dangerous, because as the plants absorb the nicotine either through secondhand smoke or from tobacco, they hold onto the toxins. When they die and decay, those toxins are absorbed into new plants as nutrients. This is a problem for crop rotation because it could potentially mean that many patches of soil are contaminated.

Selmar notes that although he used peppermint plants as the test subjects in his study (a plant that naturally contains a low amount of nicotine), he believes that all plants can absorb nicotine. He also states that although the peppermint plants’ nicotine levels did spike a fair amount, that amount of nicotine they contained was still not in the zone that he believes is dangerous to human beings.

While this study does not prove that humans are in any danger now, it does show that practices concerning nicotine need to be changed in the near future.

 

 

Lung cancer is no longer a prejudiced disease

In a woman’s journey to aspire for gender equality, she can live like a man, dress in jeans, work in previously male-dominated fields, and now she can die like a man, too. Since the 50s, women have been celebrating their new-found liberation by lighting up their cancer sticks. Consequently, women have suffered a dramatic increase in lung cancer rates in recent decades leading to lung cancer becoming the lead cause of cancer death for women in the United States. Continue reading Lung cancer is no longer a prejudiced disease