Nabi Biopharmaceuticals reports that in a small clinical trial of its anti-nicotine vaccine, that 38 percent of smokers injected with the highest dose became smoke-free for a month. That quitting rate compares favorably with other methods. About 5 percent of smokers succeed in quitting cold turkey. Nicotine replacement yields about a 10 percent quit rate. Some programs using nicotine replacement and counseling claim smoking cessation rates of up to 40 percent. Of course, one shot in the arm would be a lot less costly in time and money than a counseling program.
Assuming that the anti-nicotine vaccine proves to be safe and effective, we will soon see drug warriors (and I'm afraid, lots of worried parents) urging that anti-nicotine shots be included with other childhood vaccinations for measles, mumps and rubella.