Published Wed, Jul 18th, 2012 Wall Street Daily Research
Last month, Philip Morris (NYSE: PM) revealed its master plan to keep people from kicking their smoking habit: create cigarettes that aren’t quite as bad for you.
In short, the company’s developing a new lower-risk cigarette that would either heat the tobacco instead of burning it, or generate an aerosol to replace the smoke.
CEO, Louis Camilleri, called the new products a “paradigm shift for our industry.”
Color us unimpressed. As Justin Fritz said at the time, “the words ‘lower risk’ make it seem like the cigarettes would still cause lung cancer – just not as quickly.”
Luckily for smokers who actually want to quit, scientists at Cornell Medical School might have the ultimate solution – a nicotine vaccine.
Essentially, it’s an injection to the liver that blocks nicotine from reaching the brain. So smokers would get zero pleasure from lighting up, no matter how many puffs they take.
Dr. Ronald Crystal from the research team at Cornell describes it in more detail…
“We’ve developed a vaccine where we genetically modify the liver to produce an antibody against nicotine… The antibodies [float] around the blood like little Pac-Man [cells] that like nicotine. If you smoke and the nicotine passes across the lung, the idea is that these little anti-nicotine Pac-Man [cells] will gobble it up and prevent it from reaching the brain.”
So far, the vaccine has shown incredible results with mice. The scientists want to try it out on rats next, followed by clinical trials with humans in two to three years.
Eventually, the researchers think that the vaccine could be used as a preventative measure to keep people from smoking at all. That way, when Philip Morris’ “healthier” cigarettes hit the market in 2017, there might not be any smokers around to buy them.