Smokers may someday be able to receive a shot to help them kick the habit, the AP reports. A new vaccine blocks the rush of nicotine to the brain and "clearly shows promise" in helping smokers quit, said one expert. The emphasis on reducing the pleasurable effects of nicotine, rather than just replacing it, is what separates the vaccine from other anti-smoking aids, the AP says.
A more definitive study is in the works for the vaccine, called NicVAX and made by Nabi Biopharmaceuticals of Boca Raton, Fla. In a study of about 300 smokers, about 15 percent quit after receiving five shots over six months. Of those who got fewer shots or none at all, only 6 percent quit. The FDA says the vaccine is on a fast-track status for review.