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Friday, April 30, 2010

New technology may help people quit smoking more easily

A new technology developed by researchers from Duke University Medical Center may soon help people quit smoking more easily. The new technology, which delivers more efficiently nicotine to the blood stream, provides immediate relief to withdrawal symptoms.

“We wanted to replicate the experience of smoking without incurring the dangers associated with cigarettes, and we wanted to do so more effectively than the nicotine replacement therapies currently on the market,” said Jed Rose, Ph.D., director of the Duke Center for Nicotine and Smoking Cessation Research.

Unlike other nicotine vapor delivery systems like Nicotrol or Nicorette inhalers, the new technology combines nicotine with the vapor phase of pyurvic acid to form a salt called nicotine pyruvate which, when inhaled, replicates the natural inhalation used by smokers when drawing on a cigarette. This results in lower craving for ciggarets, rapid increase in plasma nicotine concentrations and a lower irritation compared to Nicotrol or Nicorette.

“Compared to the current nicotine vapor inhaler, we are able to give smokers more nicotine, although still less than a cigarette, with less irritation, resulting in reduced cravings,” said Rose. “Thus we are able to achieve a therapeutic effect with greater tolerability.”

The inhalation system may one day prove useful for other medications delivery but for now more research is needed to asses its role in helping people quit smoking and to examine the safety and effectiveness of prolonged use of the inhalation system.

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