Unlike cigarettes, most vaping products have high levels of nicotine. This is a serious threat to most users because nicotine is known to be very addictive. This is why many people who use vaping products can’t give them up. The good news is that now scientists at the Massachusetts General Hospital’s Tobacco Research and Treatment Center are testing a new plant-based drug that they hope will help those to quit vaping. This comes at a time when the National Institute of Health says that more than 5.6 million adults in the United States use the vaping product. These are the people that the new drug hopes to help.
The scientists at the Tobacco Research and Treatment Center are conducting a clinical trial that they hope will bring a positive result. The drug has already been tested on addicted cigarette smokers and it showed positive results. The scientist, therefore, hopes that this new drug will be a game changer in helping individuals quit vaping.
Today, more and more young people are becoming addicted to vaping products. Already school districts and parent associations have begun waging war against vaping product manufacturers to help prevent this trend. Michael Werner was such an individual. He became addicted to vaping while still in college. He hated how he had become dependent on the vapes but could not bring himself to stop vaping every other hour.
“I sometimes would wake up in the middle of the night just to vape,” Warner said. “It was hard to feel whole unless you were using your vaping device.”
The Tobacco Research and Treatment Center’s director, Dr Nancy Rigotti is the lead researcher on the team that has developed and is carrying out a clinical test on the new drug. He laments that following efforts by many stakeholders, tobacco use has been on the decline for several years now. However, now one in every 10 youth Americans aged 18 to 24 years uses vaping products.
Dr Rigotti is worried while a few of these young adults can quit vaping on their own, many get hooked on the habit and need external help to quit. Her team has been using a combination of medications, behavioural counselling and text messaging to help young Americans quit vaping. Now the team is testing a revolutionary new drug called cytisinicline. This they hope will make it easy for many people addicted to vaping to quit the habit.
According to Dr Rigotti, this new drug is similar to Varenicline, the drug they have been using to help smoking addicts quit. It acts similarly but with fewer side effects.
Cytisinicline is designed to help minimize withdrawal symptoms and block the nicotine rush when someone is trying to quit vaping. Warner who eventually quit vaping works on the team as a clinical research coordinator. He says that if he had such a drug as the one being developed, he could have quit vaping earlier.
The researchers on the team say that they hope that the clinical trials will be a success. This they say will give those trying to quit vaping more options. They say the drug has already been tested among cigarette smokers and the trials showed that it effectively helped them quit nicotine. The drug is thus inching closer to getting FDA approval before it is made available to the public.