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Magic pill to get you to quit smoking!

Ottawa, June 20, 2005-It's as easy as open, pop, swig, and swallow. Well, at least it will be.
Today, delegates at the 4th National Conference on Tobacco or Health heard that new pills, vaccines, and web-assisted cessation programs are in clinical trials and will soon be available to smokers looking to quit.

According Dr. Peter Selby, clinical director of the Addictions Program, at the Centre of Addiction and Mental Health, "Studies show 50 per cent of current smokers want to quit in the next six months. Additionally, 52 per cent of smokers have attempted to quit one to three times, and 18 per cent attempted to quit four or more times. It is clear the need for such remedies is essential."

The first pill is called Varenciline, and is developed by Pfizer Canada Inc. In the final phase of human clinical trials, this pill blocks nicotine's action on the human brain. Therefore the satisfaction generally derived from cigarettes and nicotine would no longer occur.

Pill number two is called Rimonabant: Sanofi-Synthelabo. Dr. Selby explains, "This is more than a "stop smoking" medication." It can also help reduce bad cholesterol (triglycerides) and assist in weight loss. Rimbonabant is a marijuana (CB1) receptor antagonist, thereby stopping the satisfaction signals to the brain from the mouth.

Pill number three is called Selegeline. It is generally known as a Parkinson's disease medication, because it blocks the breakdown of dopamine, the pleasure chemical in the brain.

The second innovation is a few vaccines by the names of: Xenova, Nabi, and Cytos. In these vaccines, antibodies bind to the nicotine and prevent it from reaching the brain. These are also currently in the clinical trial stage.

Web-assisted cessation programs, are surprisingly one of the most effective and popular choices for smokers. The Internet is widely available and heavily used, it can be easily adapted and updated for users and is extremely efficient for online smokers. The most conservative estimate for success is 10 to 14 per cent.

"The future of tobacco control is brighter now than ever before," says Dr. Selby. "These new medications and programs provide smokers with so many options to help them quit smoking, and begin to live a healthy life."

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For further information contact:
Lauren Wolff
(613) 286-4135

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