Scientists find a game-changer in smoking cessation

Credit: Unsplash+

A new study in the journal Addiction reveals promising news for those trying to quit smoking. The research focuses on cytisine, a generic, low-cost stop-smoking aid used in Eastern Europe since the 1960s.

According to the study, cytisine significantly boosts the odds of quitting smoking – more than double the chances compared to a placebo, and possibly even more effective than traditional nicotine replacement therapies.

Cytisine is a plant-based product, initially developed in Bulgaria in 1964 under the name Tabex. It’s known for easing the symptoms that come with quitting smoking.

Over the years, it has been used in various Eastern European and Asian countries. It’s available as Desmoxan, a prescription drug in Poland, and as Cravv, an over-the-counter product in Canada.

What makes cytisine stand out is its affordability. This is especially important in low- and middle-income countries, where access to effective stop-smoking treatments is often limited.

Dr. Omar Di Santi, the study’s lead author, emphasizes cytisine’s potential in reducing smoking rates globally, particularly in these countries.

He points out that smoking is a leading cause of preventable death worldwide, and cytisine could be a key solution.

The study pooled data from eight randomized controlled trials comparing cytisine with placebo, involving nearly 6,000 patients.

The findings were clear: those taking cytisine were over twice as likely to quit smoking successfully compared to those who took a placebo.

The research also examined cytisine’s effectiveness compared to nicotine replacement therapy and varenicline, another smoking cessation drug.

While cytisine showed modestly better results than nicotine replacement, it didn’t have a clear advantage over varenicline.

Despite these promising results, there’s a significant hurdle: cytisine’s availability. It’s not licensed or marketed in many parts of the world, including regions where it could greatly impact public health.

This gap in accessibility highlights a broader issue in global health – the distribution and availability of cost-effective treatments.

In simple terms, cytisine is like a hidden gem in the world of smoking cessation. It’s been around for decades but hasn’t been widely used outside of certain regions.

This study suggests that cytisine could be a highly effective and affordable way to help people quit smoking, particularly in parts of the world where cost is a major barrier to accessing healthcare.

To summarize, this study sheds light on cytisine as a promising, cost-effective option for smokers looking to quit. Its potential impact on global health is significant, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.

The challenge now is to make it more widely available so that more people worldwide can benefit from this effective stop-smoking aid.

If you care about smoking, please read studies about why some non-smokers get lung disease and some heavy smokers do not, and smoking cessation drug may help treat Parkinson’s disease.

For more information about heart health, please see recent studies about new way to prevent heart attacks and strokes, and results showing this drug for heart disease may reduce COVID-19 risk.

The research findings can be found in Addiction.

Copyright © 2023 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.