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Biotech Science

Human Trials Of Anti-Smoking Vaccine Begin 119

Posted by timothy
from the pleasure-reduction dept.
Makarand writes "A Nicotine vaccine that may help smokers to quit has made it to human trials. The vaccine is administered as a series of eight shots -- patients receive two shots per visit during four different visits. The vaccine works by stimulating the human immune system to produce antibodies that bind with the nicotine molecules to form a larger complex molecule which cannot pass through the blood/brain barrier to get into the brain. As a result smokers will not feel the 'high' from the cigarettes they light up and lose interest in smoking. Preliminary studies have shown that this vaccine is safe in humans." (Each link goes to a slightly different version of the same wire story.)
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Human Trials Of Anti-Smoking Vaccine Begin

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  • by Dr Tall (685787) on Sunday December 28, 2003 @05:35PM (#7823466) Journal
    Maybe this could be used to treat physical addiction, but I don't see how it would help psychological addiction. You can become clinically addicted to something without your body being dependent on the substance; you just feel an uncontrolable urge to smoke, not for the high feeling, but just because you always smoke on the way to work, always smoke at parties, etc.
    • If you were right, the tobacco companies would not need to waste time and mony (and risk legal action) by adding amonia to the cogaretts just to make them more addictive.
      Take suger for instance. People get used to eat somthing sweet to cheer up. But there is a measurable biological effect caused by blood glucose level.
      Would that be a psycological addiction or a physical one? No matter what you call it, if you will not enjoy smoking you will find somthing better to feed your psycological needs.
    • The thing is that psychological addiction is also due to a chemical effect of the drug on your body. Physical addiction is strictly because of a pleasurable sensation of a drug on your brain. IIRC, This is drugs like Cocaine, which give you a definite "high". Nicotine, while not giving a noticable high, is still extremely habit forming, since it changes the chemistry of the body. When you stop smoking, the amount of dopamine (a chemical used to transmit nerve impulses) in your body drops, often lower than w
    • This vaccine would probably work much better in combination with something to refocus one's cigarette obsession. There's a nicotine inhaler that looks vaguely like a cigarette (it's cylindrical, roughly), and the reason it is shaped that way is to permit you to "smoke" it like you would a normal cigarette.

      If you can refocus your attention onto something else - say, a lollipop, or a toothpick - then you accomplish the bulk of what this is trying to do, namely, get people off of cigarettes.

      I'd love to see
    • What is your point? Are you saying they shouldn't try this because it might not help all smokers?

      "but I don't see how it would help psychological addiction."

      If this proves to be safe, then you can just sit back and watch what effect is.

      I myself used to smoke, and think it probably was more of a psychological addiction because I didn't think it was that hard to quit! So put that in you pipe and smoke it!
      • What is your point? Are you saying they shouldn't try this because it might not help all smokers?

        My point is not only that it might not help all smokers, but that it might hurt the smokers who are both physically and psychologically addicted by sending them through physical withdrawls yet not helping the other part of their addiction.

        I agree with you, though, that if it has the potential to help certain smokers, it ought to be given a shot.
        • Many smokers just don't have enough strenght to endure the withdrawal. During that period temptation gets so high that many simply fall to it and fail. After all it's just a matter of a fortnight and it dies away so if this stuff helps me to force through this period I might try it. Also, once a smoker, always a smoker so if after an arbitrary amount of time you concede to one you've had it, it's back to square one (and this treatment seems to remove this pretty obnoxious aspect). I'm eagerly waiting for th
    • I used to smoke two packs a day - and have "quit" smoking several times. The first time, I quit cold turkey. It was hard, but do-able. The largest contributing factor to my cravings was that my last memory of smoking was good. I loved smoking. After I quit, I constantly craved the feeling that I had when I smoked.

      After several years, I started again. In the meantime, I started taking Wellbutrin (Zyban). Even though I didn't take it to quit smoking (I took it for ADD/depression), the Wellbutrin mad
  • by RalphBNumbers (655475) on Sunday December 28, 2003 @05:39PM (#7823496)
    Seriously, people are going to get cold feet after a visit or two to the doctor when they're starting to really feel the pull of addiction, and realize that they are permanently destroying their ability to get a fix.

    They need to get this vaccine down to something that can be administered in one visit, so people don't have a chance to get cold feet after the begining.

    If they can make this something joe six-pack-a-day can just do one afternoon on an impulse, then I'll be really impressed.

    Of course, then how long will it be until cigarette companies come out with anti-vacine cigs?
    • Off an Impulse? Hell, I've considered qitting for the past 4 years! If this stuff doesn't develop allergies to tobacco (which would be dramatic given the fact that people smoke anywhere) I for shure would joyously get the shots... all of 'em! You know, if anything I will finally be able to just smoke for the sake of acting cool a Saturday night without getting myself screwed into addiction. From the first day I lit a cigarette I liked it too much... I was hooked since the very start, all I did was increase
    • What's nice about this is that you could give the shots to all children of a certain age and then the tobaco industry would go bankrupt in no time.
      • I've heard the suggestion of giving shots like this to all children before, but I think it would be unwise. Nicotine does have legitimate therapeutic uses. If my kid (if I had one) wasn't already suffering from cigarette addiction and unable to quit, there's no way I'd consider potentially rendering him or her unable to benefit from future medical treatment involving nicotine, even if the conditions it is used to treat are not very common.
    • (From the original article)

      Although the vaccine does not reduce the cravings or withdrawal symptoms of quitting, it will reduce the rewarding effects of smoking.

      So, if it was possible to administer the vaccine in a single dose, the subject goes through all the withdrawal essentially at once, with no possibility of sneaking a couple of smokes to take the edge off. That could be cruel. Is it possible that the multiple dose aspect is considered a feature, not a bug?

    • Of course, then how long will it be until cigarette companies come out with anti-vaccine cigs?

      Oh... That's dastardly!

      I'm worried that someone will decide that it's necessary for people to be vaccinated against smoking. I can easily see parents vaccinating their children at a young age, corporations requiring that as part of a 'Smoke free workplace' policy employee's be vaccinated, insurance providers not providing to those who are not vaccinated, or the government forcing people to be vaccinated either
  • by Black Rabbit (236299) on Sunday December 28, 2003 @05:46PM (#7823528)
    I can deal with the problem of smokers not being able to quit their filthy disgusting habit, but how about the more sociopathic problem that seems to plague the better part of them, therefore society as a whole?

    Ever notice what happens when a smoker opens up a fresh pack? The plastic wrap goes onto the ground. Then, once the smoke is finished, it goes onto the ground too. When the pack is finished, it tends to end up on the ground too. In other words, smokers are some of the most sociopathic polluting assholes on the planet! Ever have a look around a typical smoking area around, say, a public building? Butts everywhere, despite the usual presence of buttcans and ashtrays. They don't use them or need them, because they consider the world as their ashtray!

    Fucking assholes! These people don't need a vaccine to deal with their smoking problem. They need a simple boot in the ass, or several hundred as the case may be, to teach them a much needed lesson about simple politeness and courtesy! All before even getting into the usual controversies about polluting the air that I have to breathe without my consent.

    • Never mind that the point I make is valid. The evidence is clear, as I point out. I guess I just got modded down by militant smoker!
      • ...and back up again!

        Thanks!
    • hehe, quite literally flamebait.
    • by abulafia (7826) on Sunday December 28, 2003 @06:38PM (#7823778)
      I can deal with the problem of assholes not being able to help themselves quit their filthy discusting behaviour, but how about the more sociopathic problem that seems to plague the better part of them, therefore society as a while?

      Ever notice what happens when a whiner opens their mouth? The first thing out of it is a bitch session about how someone else is screwing up their life. Once the stop frothing at the mouth about that, they have to start rebutting others. Then, they whine about getting modded down on Slashdot. In other words, whiners are some of the most sociopathic assholes on the planet! Ever have a look at the social habits of whiners? They empty a bar in no time. They don't need to go out because everyone hates them already, but they do anyway, just to make others unhappy.

      Fucking assholes! These people don't need a vaccine to deal with their whining problem. They need a simple boot in the ass, or several hundred as the case may be, to teach them a much needed lesson about simple politeness and courtesy! All before getting into the usual controversies about what impact whining has on the economy, or how it kills kittens.

    • Hey flamebait, while I do agree with you about the unpoliteness of throwing butts on the floor I assure you that whenever I find an ashtray I _alwais_ use it. Never, ever have I thrown an empty pack on the floor let alone the plastic wrap. If I were to swallow the bait I could complain about the foreigners' habit of littering Campo de Fiori with empty bottles and assorted bodily fluids... after a night of pub crawls Rome becomes a drunkard's bin...
      Will you be so kind to keep those fundamentalist overtones f
      • Then do your part and get your fellow smokers to do the same!

        As for the USA comment, I'm Canadian, you insensitive clod! At least we have a 98% success rate at beer bottle returns!

        • It is not my part to do anything.

          See, there's this notion you seem to have that I, as a smoker, am somehow a member of the Secret Brotherhood of International Smoking Initiates, or something, and therefore am both responsible for the behaviour of other smokers as well as capable of influencing their behaviour.

          Both assumptions are of course completely and utterly silly.

          If you disagree that these assumptions are silly, then get back to me with your success rate at convincing all your fellow Canadians

      • Re:Fucking Smokers (Score:3, Interesting)

        by geoswan (316494)
        Excuse me? It sounds like you are claiming to be a good citizen because, "I assure you that whenever I find an ashtray I alwais use it."

        So, what do you do when you need a smoke, and you can't find an ashtray? You realize that, the way you phrased it, it sounds like you think it is okay, if you can't find an ashtray, to light up anyway, and throw your butts on the floor? Is this what you meant?

        When I was young, and full of beans, I used to get into confrontations with people smoking in places where sm

        • Let's try these on for size:

          1. We already have laws against littering. How is it any different for a smoker to drop their butt than for a fat guy or child to drop their chocolate bar wrapper? Here's an idea, for starters, a butt is made of organics which biodegrade easily and rapidly, while a candy wrapper is often plastic. Plastic lasts damn near forever, where a butt's paper and cotton lasts a week. Both are littering and reprehensible, no doubt, but they're both already illegal - thus no cause for ne
        • I am an addict (btw, I just put one of these damn ones out) and yes I do throw butts on the floor as I phrased it. Unfortunately I was already thinking about the next part of my post where I describe Rome's city center streets so I implicitly referred to that scenario. So yes, I do throw butts on the floor but actually when I'm out on the street (and no, I don't empty car ashtrays at semaphore stops) and there's no dang ashtray in sight. I think in Hong Kong it's a finable offense but over here it's rather

          • I've tried the patch, the gums, even managed to quit without any nicotinic surrogate (which being the only period totally off nicotine I consider my only true success) for as much as 8 months but I've always relapsed.

            Ask your doctor for some Wellbutrin. (sorry...tried to look up a link for you but all I get from Google is online pharmacy ads) It's a mood elevator but it appears to be very good at relieving nicotine cravings. I know people who have used it to quit smoking and said that it was totally ef
    • Did you quit heroin today or something?
    • The same basic problem here, causes all sorts of things. A false normality.

      A smokers world is different than non-smokers in one big way, smoking. (duh!)
      Non-smokers see polution, litter, poor smell, bad health decisions, and a ton of other things. smokers see this as thier normal way of life. The smoke, the stench, the yellowing teeth, all normal. Just like how popping joints can become second nature.

      One thing that really pisses me off are people who smoke around thier kids. A parent holding thier baby wi

    • Let's try these on for size:

      1. We already have laws against littering. How is it any different for a smoker to drop their butt than for a fat guy or child to drop their chocolate bar wrapper? Here's an idea, for starters, a butt is made of organics which biodegrade easily and rapidly, while a candy wrapper is often plastic. Plastic lasts damn near forever, where a butt's paper and cotton lasts a week. Both are littering and reprehensible, no doubt, but they're both already illegal - thus no cause for ne
    • Apparently you're not alone. Take a look at this: http://www.everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=683260 [everything2.com].
    • by BigBlockMopar (191202) on Monday December 29, 2003 @01:33PM (#7828530) Homepage

      I can deal with the problem of smokers not being able to quit their filthy disgusting habit,

      I think you fail to understand the nature of addiction. It must be a nice perspective that you have.

      The craving for a cigarette feels every bit as instinctive, internal and hard-wired as the cravings for food, sex, and a trip to the bathroom when the bladder is full.

      If you, presumably as someone who has never smoked, wishes to understand the agony of quitting smoking, I suggest that you simply deny yourself peeing for a week. Tell me how it feels. That's exactly what quitting smoking is like.

      Most attempts to quit smoking never make it past the first day. The worst for me was always day three.

      After a week or so, the brain starts to get over the cravings, but they never really completely go away.

      Ever notice what happens when a smoker opens up a fresh pack? The plastic wrap goes onto the ground.

      Not mine; even when I accidentally drop it, I pick it up and take it to the trash.

      Then, once the smoke is finished, it goes onto the ground too.

      That happens because all the anti-smokers ran around, from the depths of their ignorance about the nature of the nicotine addiction, screaming that "If we take the ashtrays out of public places people won't smoke!".

      Bullshit. I have been in a situation where I could have sex or I could smoke - this was an ex who told me that we'd have sex if I didn't smoke that evening. Guess which one won out?

      So, if flicking a butt on the ground - which is abhorrent to me - is the cost of having a cigarette, then it's a cost I will bear. Again, I've foregone sex for it.

      I would use ashtrays if they were around. I'm not putting the butts in the garbage can; I'm sure you can appreciate the risk of fire.

      When the pack is finished, it tends to end up on the ground too. In other words, smokers are some of the most sociopathic polluting assholes on the planet! Ever have a look around a typical smoking area around, say, a public building? Butts everywhere, despite the usual presence of buttcans and ashtrays. They don't use them or need them, because they consider the world as their ashtray!

      When you smoke outside, you're so accustomed to the lack of an outdoor ashtray that you reflexively toss the butt on the ground. It's unfortunate.

      Fucking assholes! These people don't need a vaccine to deal with their smoking problem. They need a simple boot in the ass, or several hundred as the case may be, to teach them a much needed lesson about simple politeness and courtesy!

      I agree with the littering, but I wouldn't agree that smokers throw their empty packs or wrappers on the ground any more than the various sasquatches who throw gum wrappers and losing lottery tickets on the ground.

      The only way to address the butt litter will be to have more ashtrays in more public places, but that's not going to happen because of all the idiots who will say it encourages smoking. (Heh... looking at an ashtray always grosses me out; if anything, it's a deterrent.)

      All before even getting into the usual controversies about polluting the air that I have to breathe without my consent.

      Well, for the most part, it will only affect you in a bar or restaurant. Smoking in the workplace is essentially verboten now.

      Coping with it is very simple. If you don't like smoke, sit in the non-smoking section of that bar or restaurant. If they don't have a non-smoking section, go to a bar or restaurant which does.

      "Quitting smoking is easy; I have done it a thousand times." - Mark Twain.

      Smoking is:

      • extremely painful and difficult to quit
      • simultaneously a stimulant and a depressant
      • symptomatic of attention deficit disorder and almost as effective in the treatment of ADD/ADHD as Ritalin or dexedrine (talk to your doctor, don't start smoking for any reason)
      • beneficial in the prevention and control of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases (talk to your docto
      • When you smoke outside, you're so accustomed to the lack of an outdoor ashtray that you reflexively toss the butt on the ground. It's unfortunate.

        No, it's exactly the kind of unthinking lameness the original poster was complaining about.

        During the 20 years I smoked I never threw a butt on the ground. My friends that still smoke don't do it now. Just strip the biodegradable bits off and put the filter in your pocket until you find an appropriate receptacle.

        And yes, I occasionally forgot and ran one t

    • Excuse me sir. You're CO2 is contributing to global warming, lets persecute you too for living.

      As for smokers throwing the plastic wrap on the ground, there is something called "Littering" and they can be fined. The butts, well cant throw them in the garbage while they're still lit otherwise it'll cause a fire.

      First off, I take it you're not a smoker, so you dont know the addiction first hand. I suggest you get a first hand experience with the addiction before you say "they need a kick in the ass".
  • by c.r.o.c.o (123083) on Sunday December 28, 2003 @06:02PM (#7823605)
    I have to admit that I have been smoking for the past 9 years. Considering that I'm only 24 years old, that's a very long time. I've tried quitting cold turkey, I've tried the patch, the gum, and they all worked up to a point. Every time I tried quitting smoking, I stopped for a few days, but afterwards, I just had to start again. It wasn't the addiction that much, but simply the fact that I enjoy smoking too much.

    Before I get all the replies describing all the side effects of smoking, you should know that I can do 150 push-ups every day, I can ride a bicycle for 30kms in about an hour through Toronto (which has its share of hills). So I'm still pretty healthy. When I'll get older this won't be the case anymore, but that's still a way off, so it doesn't feel like such a threat.

    I guess this vaccine might work for me. If I can't derive pleasure from smoking, then I might have a chance of quitting. Because my willpower in this respect sure isn't helping.

    • Every time I tried quitting smoking, I stopped for a few days, but afterwards, I just had to start again. It wasn't the addiction that much, but simply the fact that I enjoy smoking too much.

      This is pretty consistent with what most of my friends who smoke tell me. A number of years ago I heard a story on NPR about addiction. They interviewed a representative from a national drug agency (perhaps NIH, I don't recall). What he emphasized was that it's not the physical addiction that's the problem, we can
      • But in reading your post, I realized that I'm not sure what constitutes a psychological addiction. Is it simply the pleasure, as you suggest? Because most of my friends emphasize the role of stimuli. It's easy to quit smoking -- until you go out to a bar or coffee house, or you've been driving for 30 minutes, or you're at a party, etc.

        Damn right it's the stimuli. I've tried to quit several times before, and at one point even got to the 3 month mark. No physical cravings at all were left after that much

    • by Fished (574624) *
      Go to your doctor and ask him to prescribe Zyban/Wellbutrin. It works by mimicing the "high" you get from smoking (i.e. raising dopamine levels), and was pretty effective for me.
      • Which is what makes nicotine surrogates a pathetic setup for failure (for me at least). Let me elaborate: tobacco smoke sends a dose peak within 9 s from inspiration; all the rest simply stabilize high blood levels of the substance. Now, sometimes I think that transition low-high makes the brain bloody happy. So here I am, smoking my lungs into a dumpster...
    • Well, it means you've never really quit... it takes more time to metabolize all of the nicotine in your body. Believe me, if you light one within the first couple of weeks you're just giving in to nicotine starvation. Only if you light one after months (ah the fool!) you're doing it for the simple "pleasure" of smoking (and also falling back into addiction... remember, after so many years your brain is pretty much set up for nicotine dependancy. .02 from an ex-ex-smoker.
  • From the Article

    1. Although the vaccine does not reduce the cravings or withdrawal symptoms of quitting, it will reduce the rewarding effects of smoking.
    2. ...
    3. It is designed to curb the "high" smokers feel when they light up.
    4. The theory is that if nicotine cannot enter the brain, smokers don't experience a cigarette's pleasurable effects and slowly, they'll lose interest in smoking.
    5. "So it just becomes like smoking a cigarette that has no nicotine in it," Hatsukami said.

    I guess another way to

    • The flaw in your logic is that when you discover the pencil doesn't make you feel good you will go back to the cigs. If you have the vaccine you can't go back. (unless you stop having the vaccine shots, which is a problem someone has already pointed out)
      • It's not really a flaw, it is the strength. Extending my ealier "logical" arguements ...

        Using the vaccine, once you discover cigs don't get you "high" any longer, you would find something else to get a similar "high." And this is called crossing the "gateway", i.e a gateway drug. And worse you might never get the same high with anything else, and you will be setting on an endless search ...

        By smoking pencils you know that cigs can still get you high if you want to. And you don't need to go around chasi


    • The danger of cigarettes is not the nicotine. It's the smoke. Smoking nicotine-less cigarettes could still give you cancer. Chewing nicotine gum probably won't.

      Reason Magazine has a pretty interesting article ("Snuff Treatment: Lying in the name of public health" [reason.com]) about the US gub'mint lying to us about the dangers of chewing tabacco. Even though it is 90% less hazardous than cigarette smoking, numerous US health agencies repeatedly claim chewing tabacco is "just as dangerous" as smoking cigarettes.
    • > # "So it just becomes like smoking a cigarette that has no nicotine in it," Hatsukami said.

      Yeah. Something puzzles me about this. Your analogy of "Smoke a pencil! It's unpleasant!" hits it on the head. Smokers, riddle me this. (I'm a nonsmoker.)

      An alcoholic who likes the taste of beer can drink non-alcoholic beer. (OK, obviously he doesn't like the taste of beer that much, but you get my drift :) He's doing himself no harm. I don't think I'd even call him a "drinker".

      A reformed caffei

      • Smokers, as a user of alcohol and caffeine, I've nothing against your drug of choice. I just don't understand why the "cigarette" has to be the only delivery device for it. Why hasn't the market responded to what seems to be a pretty big pent-up demand for a more discreet nicotine delivery device?

        Because all of the other delivery devices have dangerous side effects.

        There is no way other than cigarettes that give the same amount of nicotine in a condensed burst without causing the user to throw up, or hav
  • Easy to quit... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by traveyes (262759) on Sunday December 28, 2003 @06:18PM (#7823673)


    If you WANT to quit, you will. You don't need any drugs, devices, or enemas.

    Everyone I know who has tried (and failed) to quit, failed because they did not want to quit smoking. They tried to quit because they just felt they should.

    You can quit when you actually WANT too.

    Mind over matter, and shit like that....

    • If you WANT to quit, you will. You don't need any drugs, devices, or enemas.

      Everyone I know who has tried (and failed) to quit, failed because they did not want to quit smoking. They tried to quit because they just felt they should.

      You can quit when you actually WANT too.

      Mind over matter, and shit like that....

      Having quit smoking myself a few months ago I absolutely agree ! If you don't like to quit you won't make it. I wanted to quit because my girlfriend smokes too much. She kept coughing

    • Re:Easy to quit... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by acousticiris (656375) *
      Everyone I know who has tried (and failed) to quit, failed because they did not want to quit smoking.

      Never underestimate the power of a physical addiction, my friend.
      Having been a former smoker, I can tell you I wanted to quit. I wanted to quit about 1700 times. I succeeded on the 1700th try. You know its bad for you, you can feel it every day when you light up, but there's that tinge of happiness that comes from the action.
      It's been 10 years since I quit and even now there are still times I'm jamming
      • Never underestimate the power of a physical addiction, my friend.

        I hear ya... I chewed for 10+ years. I shouldn't have said it was "easy"... and yes, I still crave it from time to time. Nicotine is nasty!

        But still, when I actually wanted to quit, I did.

  • How long before... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 28, 2003 @06:21PM (#7823686)
    ...your kids will have to be vaccinated against drugs before entering public schools.
    • People experience the effects of drugs differently because they differ genetically. That probably influences their susceptibility to addiction. It would make a lot of sense to try to even the playing field by vaccinating kids before they become addicted.

      Of course, it shouldn't be mandatory. But it should be offered free to any parent who wants it for their child. And it should be carefully tested and monitored initially to make sure it doesn't have any unintended consequences.
      • Re:bad idea (Score:2, Insightful)

        by corpsiclex (735510)
        I disagree. I smoked when i was 13/14 for about a year before I quit. I obviously don't think smoking/drugs is a good thing, but I think that (however ridiculous it may sound) the experience of feeling the effects of different drugs should not be robbed from people without their consent. And it isn't like you can undo the effects of a vaccine once you are (what society considers to be) old enough to responsibly make your own decisions. I think the decision to use drugs or to experiment with feeling high s
        • I smoked when i was 13/14 for about a year before I quit.

          How lucky that you managed to quit. Most teenagers who start can't quit, and they lose decades of their lives.

          the experience of feeling the effects of different drugs should not be robbed from people without their consent.

          Parents have the right to have parts of their children's penises removed without their consent and with little demonstrable benefit. Talk about robbing people of experiences. I'd worry about that long before I'd worry robbi
          • Parents have the right to have parts of their children's penises removed without their consent
            i agree with you completely that
        • ... the experience of feeling the effects of different drugs should not be robbed from people without their consent.

          Erm... now, I'd be against the government or any other entrenched institution making it mandatory (nothing quite like mandatory vaccinations against "illegal" or "immoral" behavior, is there?) but give me a break! That's like saying that people should not be robbed of feeling the effects of different diseases without their consent. It could be argued that there's the difference in being i

          • If parents want to decide beforehand that their children will be immune to the addictive properties of harmful drugs like cocaine and nicotine, so be it.

            While I agree in principle with your idea, it would never work. The reason those compounds get people "high" is because they are very similar to substances that occur naturally in the body. Good idea, make kids immune to their own brain chemicals.

            Even if that problem could be solved, which I doubt, those compounds have therapeutic uses. Cocaine is a p
        • I think the decision to use drugs or to experiment with feeling high should be made by those that it truly concerns, the individual. Not the individual's parents.

          Exactly. Even if you manage to chemically disable all of the major drugs during childhood, people who really want to get high will find a way. There's always whipped cream, spray paint, plastic bags, etc.

  • by rf0 (159958) *
    ban smoking and make sure people don't start. Surely that would be cheaper for the health service. Of course that doesn't take into account the amount of tax the goverment gets off the sales

    Rus
    • ... or we could even put on our tinfoil hats and wonder if the government would prefer -not- to ban smoking, or even do too much to prevent it. if something's bad, we usually either ban it or leave it alone (protecting it as freedom of something or other, or, for once, staying out of people's homes) ... but instead we tax it up to that "magic level" where it doesn't discourage people too much, and brings in a nice revenue. ethics and consistency be damned.
    • Re:or.. (Score:2, Insightful)

      by IM6100 (692796)
      The cost to 'the health service' of smoking is complex. Smoking causes a considerable number of people to live shorter lives than they would otherwise. Living shorter lives can actually reduce the cost to 'the health service.'

      The whole 'ban smoking' thing sounds pretty fascistic, though. It's a plant that grows naturally. It's an activity that many people enjoy. The fact that other people (busybodies) disapprove isn't really relevant.

      Maybe we should ban a whole lot of things that make people less pro
    • Remember a little event called the Prohibition, when America tried to ban alcohol? That went over real well, didn't it?
    • Solution: Every year, raise the minimum smoking age by 6 months. No one on the verge of legal age will be seriously inconvenienced, and even now-newborns will be able to smoke when they reach the age of 32.

      Actually, go ahead and stop when the minimum age becomes 45, and the "for grown-ups-only" aspect that wanting-to-define-themselves teenagers are looking for will be seriously diminished.

      Seriously, the RJR-Nabisco anti-smoking ads are the worst thing public policy could allow... they say "little baby kid
  • how I stopped (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 28, 2003 @06:52PM (#7823842)
    A friend of mine was smoking American Spirit's. They advertise themselves as having no added chemicals and just being "pure" tobacco. It's well known that brands like Camel and Marlboro put added chemicals in their smokes, for whatever reason. Apparently a good amount of the addiction in these brands comes from some of the added chemicals, not just the nicotine.

    Anyway, my friend said that as soon as she switched to American Spirit, she just didn't feel the need to smoke as much and the though of it kind of disgusted her. So I switched too.

    After about a month, the very thought of smoking just disgusted me to the point where I stopped doing it. I started smoking their strongest ones, of which I could only finish about half a cigarette, then went to the medium, then their ultra-lights.

    It's ironic using cigarettes to quit smoking, but it worked for me. The only side-effects I've had is that I feel much better. The smell of smoke in bars even disgusts me now.
    • Um...could it merely be that you were forcing yourself to smoke lousy cigs which made you disgusted? :-)

      Frankly, I wish all the money that we're taking from the Tobacco companies in settlements, all the money we spend on anti-tobacco ads, all the money we take in to taxes on tobacco, and, heck, throw in the money we spent developing this vaccine had gone in to Lung Cancer (or just Cancer-in-general) Research.

      But, it didn't, and it won't. It goes to lawyers. It goes to pork. It goes to propping up a overly
    • There may be something to that. Most cigarrettes put urea or ammonia in the tobacco to raise the PH. At a high PH, the nicotine assumes the free-base form which is more quickly absorbed. The same trick ( using baking soda instead of dried piss to raise the PH ) is used to turn cocaine into the more potent and addictive crack form.

      I started smoking a few years ago with cigars. At first I would puff one once in a while because it was something to do with my friends. I would not inhale ( who the hell inh

      • Wonderful post... very good description and I totally agree with the conclusion. It sucks being addicted to something you'll have to avoid permanently (especially when everyone around you is smoking the damn things). BTW, tho only time I managed to quit for a decent amount of time (8 months) was a cold turkey and every time I was bored and thought "... hell, one won't do me bad..." I used the AA strategy "... but then you'll have to reset the day-count, that would be a shame..." It did work pretty well...
      • A note on stop smoking aids containing nicotine: Maybe some people find them helpful, but there is one thing wrong with them - they contain nicotine! They're frikken nic-teasers! They delay the time ( 4th day cold turkey ) when physical urges cease! I can't imagine putting up with that for months.... Maybe ONE patch to bring you down, but then you'll have 3 days of physical urges after that, and that first day you will still be bored and want a ciggarrette. Maybe substuting ONE DAYS WORTH OF cigars ( throwi
  • nicotine (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Doesn't nicotine look like a neurotransmitter? (I forget which one, but your brain is chock full of nicotinate receptors). I'd be wary of a nicotine-binding antibody, it might well bind to a neurotransmitter... and that would not be good.
    • Good point.

      This just shows how much people have blindly accepted the view that if you smoke, you're worse than Hitler. People will recklessly modify their immune systems to "vaccinate" themselves from nicotine addiction.

      I'd rather die a much more "natural" cancer death, than die from a statistically insignificant reaction to a "vaccine" put out by a company looking to make a quick buck on the misery of others.

      BTW, cold turkey 2 years ago after smoking for 11.
  • I'm glad it didn't have to come to that for me to quit smoking.
    Yeah, I used them patches but it was because I love my friends, anyone who knows someone who quit smoking cold turkey knows what I mean :)

    Anyways, I'm glad because at least I can feel prouder about having quit with littler help than those future vaccinated guys.
    Also, patches help you a lot psychologically because it's very very gradual. You have about four months to give up the patches and during that time you learn to kick off addiction, it's
  • I don't know about anyone else, but I don't really get "high" off cigarettes. I get a little woozy off the first one of the morning, but it's not a pleasant feeling. Subsequent cigarettes have no real effect (and I only smoke ten a day). They don't make me more alert, or keep me awake.

    It might be that there is an effect, one so subtle as to escape my notice, but if it's that subtle I doubt it factors greatly in my addiction.

    If they could invent a drug that would stop me from feeling like Spike Spiegel e
  • Don't Start (Score:1, Flamebait)

    by Chasuk (62477)
    Off-topic rant BEGINS

    I'll be honest, I don't care how many people smoke, or how much death or suffering it causes (second-hand smoking deaths are grossly exaggerated if you read the current research about it). I've loved very few people who was actually stupid enough to start.

    If you are such a fucking moron that you start smoking, then you will eventually reduce the surface population by one smoker, and my clothes won't stink as much when I go to the club. I just hope that it happens before they have c
    • You obviously would have hated Einstein.
    • I hereby yeild using mod points to simply responding to the rant!

      I smoke. I'm not a moron.

      Why? Addiction. Moderation. I fucking like the taste.

      So, I'm probably gonna die a few years sooner than every other non-smoker just because I chose a disgusting (to some), expensive habit. Big deal.

      If it were discovered tomorrow that bananas were deadly, we'd still be eating them. McDonald's food is unhealthy, but the parking lot is still packed and the drive-thru is backed up every lunch hour of every day. It all
  • Before you people all go off on rants based on some basic misunderstanding, consider this

    (1) A nicotine vaccine does NOT solve the chemical addiction at all. Your body would still have the cravings for the a cigarette, because when you smoke it...the nicotine doesn't make it to the brain. Your brain still yells out: "give me something to stop this withdrawal"

    (2) A nicotine vaccine actually would help the emotional side of the addiction. The emotional addictions follows thus: your body needs a chemical,

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