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Smoking Vaccine

A smoking vaccine could be available within 3 to 5 years.

Quit Smoking now with Nicocure

Results of the first major human trial of the product designed to stop nicotine addiction were released today. The findings -- based on a six-month trial involving 300 heavy smokers -- are expected to help pave the way for production of the vaccine.

Australian doctors believe the anti-nicotine vaccine, if successful, could be a wonder drug that helps finally butt out smoking in the country.

More than three million Australians smoke, including about 22 per cent of Victorian men and 17 per cent of women.

The habit kills about 19,000 Australians annually -- more than 50 each day -- and costs the country $21 billion every year.

Three companies have developed nicotine vaccines, but Swiss pharmaceutical company Cytos Biotechnology has been the first to conduct a major trial.

The drug stimulates production of antibodies in the blood that attach themselves to nicotine, creating a compound too big to enter the brain and produce the sensation that makes smokers crave cigarettes.

The vaccine is taken over a course of between four and six injections.

Cytos will reveal the results, which have been kept a closely-guarded secret, at the American Society of Clinical Oncology's annual meeting in Orlando, Florida, early today, Australian time.

Action on Smoking and Health Australia CEO Anne Jones said if the vaccine proved successful it had the potential to save millions of lives.

If you can break the nexus between smoking and addiction it could mean the end of smoking for the vast majority of smokers.

Ms Jones said a recent study revealed most Australian smokers were frustrated they could not quit.

Australian Medical Association vice-president Dr Mukesh Haikerwal said the vaccine could be a huge leap forward in the fight against smoking.

Quit Smoking now with Nicocure

About the Author

J. Ratliff is a health article writer.

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