Scientists found that a chemical compound, named cytosine, which can be found in some plants can be used to help smokers quit their habit.
Dr. Natalie Walker from the University of Auckland who is the lead author of the study conducted regarding this compound said that never before this chemical compound was compared to a treatment. The research conducted in this matter showed that smokers who were given this chemical for 25 days managed to quit smoking and were dedicated to keep this vice in check for at least six months.
Dr. Walker also said that people who were given this chemical compound did not experienced the usual feelings of withdrawal because the compound helped them suppress some of those feelings. Even more, smokers who managed to quit the habit would not enjoy smoking as much as they previously did if they picked this vice up again.
Information shows that Eastern Europe has manufactured products based on cytosine for the last 40 years. This chemical compound can be found in plants like kowhai. Experts warned people that they shouldn’t pick this plant to start making medicine of their own because it is a very toxic plant. The cytosine used in drugs is a very low quantity.
Dr. Walker said that she believes this drug isn’t widely known because all the research that was conducted and published was in German and Russian language. She also thinks that people should be familiar with this drug and pharmaceutical companies that manufacture it in Poland and Bulgaria should seek approval from USA, New Zealand and UK governments to be able to bring it in the western countries.
Walker stated that this compound would give poor countries the occasion to access a cheap treatment for smokers who want to quit their habits but unfortunately it is unclear if they will have the opportunity to benefit from this drug.
Senior scientific adviser for the American Lung Association, Dr. Norman Edelman, stated that it is unlikely to find pharmaceutical companies who will go through process of approval and manufacturing this drug. The fact that it is cheap could mean that companies will not see this drug as a good profit for them, thus it is highly unlikely to give people the means to quit smoking without all the trouble of withdrawal and treatment expenses.
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