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Nicotine Vaccine

Researchers in Sweden are working with drug companies to develop a vaccine against nicotine addiction (Reuters Health).

According to Torgny Svensson, professor of pharmacology at Sweden's Karolinska Institute, "We are talking to drug companies. I will not say who they are, but the Karolinska itself has some funds for this." 

The vaccine would bind nicotine molecules to larger protein molecules to stop the nicotine from reaching reward centres in the brain. These reward centres produce the "high" that tobacco users experience. 

"The injection does not reduce the craving, but it may help people by preventing the nicotine from getting through the blood brain barrier to the reward centres," Svensson said. 
Similar research also is being conducted independently in the United States and in Britain.

(Source: February 2000, Join Together, a national resource for communities working to reduce substance abuse)

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Last modified: August 03, 2000