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Diseases of the lungs, blood vessels, skin, digestive system, etc. are mainly associated with cigarette smoke, which contains several thousand different toxic products of combustion of tobacco leaves. Accordingly, if you switch from conventional cigarettes to electronic, or chewing gum, or to a band-aid, then nicotine dependence will not go anywhere, but otherwise the person will feel almost as good as the non-smoker.
[1] This is an inaccurate quote from the blog of psychiatrist-narcologist Paul Beschastnov (stelazin.liveioumal.com/98200.html).
However, as a method of actually giving up smoking, nicotine replacement therapy is not very effective. A 2009 meta-analysis that summarizes the results of seven placebo-controlled studies says that less than 7% of people quit smoking on substitutes - not a very impressive result, although twice as much as on placebo in the same studies (nicotine replacement therapy is generally chosen by people with strong dependence and weak motivation for failure). In this nicotine patches (and other ways of delivery of nicotine) never help anyone quickly - this treatment lasts at least six months, and sometimes several years. But this method is practically safe: from side effects, only nausea was noted, 8% of subjects receiving nicotine complained about it, and, what is characteristic, 5% of the subjects who received the placebo.
If a person is determined to quit smoking, science can still give him such an opportunity - just let him then not complain. The first clinical
testing of vaccines against smoking. The point is that antibodies in the blood of a person circulate, which bind nicotine and prevent it from reaching the brain. Smoking is completely useless: with a cigarette like a real one, but no joy from it. During the two-month trial of the Nicotine-Qfi vaccine, created in Switzerland, 47% of study participants abstained from smoking. It's funny that in this study even the placebo group showed a stunningly high result - as much as 35%. Apparently, people were so firmly convinced that they received the vaccine and now smoking will not bring them pleasure that they did not even try to smoke.
But the problem is that our immune system is not capable of producing antibodies to nicotine itself: it is too small a molecule for antigen-presenting cells to pay attention to it. Enter into the body have ready antibodies, but they do not last long in the blood. And so a more promising method can be gene therapy
- the introduction into the body of a DNA sequence through which cells themselves will build antibodies. In 2012, scientists from the University of Cornell reported that they were able to create a viral vector that carries the gene in question and prove that it works in the body of mammals. This work was done in mice, and before the first clinical trials in humans, it is likely to take at least ten years: gene therapy is a relatively new direction in medicine, and today it is used only when without it a person dies quickly and not through any there for 30 years.
So the most effective way to combat nicotine addiction today is just not to start smoking. Dependent smokers, let them torment themselves, and society should protect from smoking those who have not yet started, but just about to start, that is, teenagers. An interesting way to do this is being discussed now in Australia: the local Ministry of Health plans to gradually increase the age from which you can buy cigarettes. As a result, all current smokers can still get their nicotine, but people born in 2000 and later will never have time to grow to the age at which you can buy cigarettes.
I have no idea how you can convince a teenager not to start smoking. It seems to me that the stories about the dangers of smoking are absolutely ineffective: death in 40 years and death in 50 years seems to the senior pupil about equally equally unattainable. It is probably more effective to put on cosmetic defects (yellow teeth, wrinkles, etc.), but it is very important not to overdo the stick: usually the teens are told that smokers are always spitting, already at 25 they look very bad, and kissing with no one wants them - but the teenagers are looking around and see a lot of quite nice (yet) smokers with whom the public, including non-smokers, kisses with great pleasure - and then how to believe propaganda and allocate a rational grain from it? Therefore, if I needed to talk with a teenager, I would, perhaps, talked about how catastrophically cigarettes restrict our freedom.
In a sense, nicotine addiction is voluntary disability. A person with type 1 diabetes is forced to constantly think about the level of glucose in his blood and where he can safely inject. A person with nicotine addiction is practically in the same position: he has to worry continuously about whether he has cigarettes, whether there is a lighter, where he can smoke and when.
We have a lot of problems in life - we constantly have to eat, drink, sleep and go to the toilet - and then we create another need for ourselves and sharply narrow the range of potential opportunities, because in all our actions we have to put on the first place need to smoke regularly. We run away from promising job interviews and long written exams, because it is impossible to do three hours of testing and not smoking. In transatlantic flights, we use nicotine replacement therapy (I hope its inventor will put a monument, because otherwise it would be impossible to fly on airplanes in principle) - but even with it we still suffer desperately. We can not calmly watch a film that lasts longer than an hour and a half - we really want to stop it and go get our nicotine dose, and all the non-smoking friends are heroically waiting for us, but we are clearly dissatisfied and will hardly be called next time. We can not go with a young man to visit his parents, because they are against smoking girls, and to hide smoking is absolutely impossible. Yes, in general, and the range of potentially achievable partners is narrowing down, which is so: smokers really do not like smokers, at best with this defect are reconciled. So I believe that a smart teen should look at adult smokers with fastidious pity, realize that they are fools and fuck up their lives, and try not to fall into this trap.
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