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Diseases of the lungs, blood vessels, skin, the digestive system, etc., are mainly associated with cigarette smoke, which contains several thousand different toxic products of the burning of tobacco leaves. Accordingly, if you switch from ordinary cigarettes to electronic cigarettes, or to chewing gum, or to a plaster, then nicotine addiction will not go anywhere, but otherwise the person will feel almost as good as a non-smoker.
[1] This is an inaccurate quote from the blog of a psychiatrist-narcologist Pavel Beschastnova (stelazin.liveioumal.com/98200.html).
However, as a way of actually quitting smoking, nicotine replacement therapy is not very effective. In a meta-analysis of 2009, summarizing the results of seven placebo-controlled studies, it is said that less than 7% of people quit smoking as a result — not a very impressive result, although twice as many as placebo in the same studies (nicotine replacement therapy is in principle chosen by people with strong dependence and weak motivation for failure). At the same time, nicotine patches (and other methods of nicotine delivery) never help anyone quickly - such treatment lasts at least six months, and sometimes several years. But on the other hand, this method is practically safe: of the side effects, only nausea was noted, 8% of the subjects who received nicotine complained about it - and, characteristically, 5% of the subjects who received placebo.
If a person is determined to quit smoking, science can still provide him with such an opportunity - only then he should not complain. Already conducted the first clinical
smoking vaccine trials. The point is that antibodies circulate in human blood that bind nicotine and prevent it from getting into the brain. It becomes completely useless to smoke: a cigarette looks like a real one, but there is no joy from it. During the two months of testing 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 staggeringly high result - as much as 35%. Apparently, people were so firmly convinced that they received the vaccine and now smoking would 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: this is too small a molecule for antigen-presenting cells to pay attention to. Introduced into the body has ready-made antibodies, but they are not long stored in the blood. Therefore, gene therapy may be a more promising method.
- the introduction into the body of a DNA sequence, according to which cells themselves will build antibodies. In 2012, scientists from Cornell University reported that they managed to create a viral vector carrying the desired gene and prove that it works in mammals. This work was carried out on mice, and before the first clinical trials on humans, most likely, it will take at least ten years: gene therapy is a relatively new trend in medicine, and today it is used only when a person dies quickly without it, and not after some 30 years there.
So the most effective way to combat nicotine addiction today is simply not to start smoking. Addicted smokers let them suffer themselves, and society should be protected from smoking by those who have not yet begun, but are about to start, that is, adolescents. An interesting way to do this is being discussed now in Australia: the local ministry of health plans to gradually raise the age at which cigarettes can be bought. As a result, all current smokers will still be able to get their own 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 to convince a teenager not to start smoking. It seems to me that the stories about the dangers of smoking are definitely ineffective: death in 40 years and death in 50 years seem to a high school student about equally unattainable. Pressing on cosmetic defects (yellow teeth, wrinkles, etc.) is probably more effective, but it’s very important not to overreact: teens are usually told that smokers spit all the time, they look very bad in 25 years, and kiss with Nobody wants them - but teenagers look around and see a lot of quite nice (for now) smokers, with whom the public, including non-smokers, kisses with great pleasure - and how after this to believe propaganda and isolate rational grain from it? Therefore, if I needed to talk with a teenager, I would, perhaps, tell about how disastrously cigarettes restrict our freedom.
In a sense, nicotine addiction is a voluntary disability. A person with diabetes of the first type is constantly forced to think about what his blood glucose level is and where he can safely make an injection. A person with nicotine addiction is almost in the same position: he has to constantly worry about whether he has cigarettes, if he has 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 here we create another need for ourselves and sharply narrow the range of potential opportunities, because we have to put the first step in all our actions place the need to smoke regularly. We run away from prospective work interviews and long written exams, because it is impossible to do a test task for three hours and not to smoke. In transatlantic flights, we use nicotine replacement therapy (I hope that a monument will be erected to its inventor, because otherwise it would be impossible to fly on airplanes in principle) - but even with it we still desperately suffer. We cannot calmly watch a movie that lasts longer than an hour and a half - we really want to stop it and go get our dose of nicotine, and all non-smoking friends are heroically waiting for us, but they are clearly dissatisfied with us and next time they are unlikely to call. We cannot go with a young man to visit his parents, because they are against girls who smoke, and it is absolutely impossible to hide smoking. Yes, in general, the spectrum of potentially attainable partners is narrowed, which is really there: no one really likes smokers, at best they put up with this shortcoming. So I suppose that a smart teenager should look at adult smokers with squeamish pity, realize that they are fools and fuck up their lives, and try not to fall into this trap.
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