Anti-smoking drugs useless in fighting the bad habit

Smoking kills hundreds of thousands of people every year

China takes the first place in the world on the list of tobacco-consuming countries. The Chinese smoke 1.7 trillion cigarettes a year. The USA comes second with 480 billion cigarettes, Japan follows with 316 billion, Russia – with 230 billion smoked cigarettes and Indonesia completes the top five with 199 billion.

Statistics say smoking kills 300,000 people in Russia every year. Fifty percent of deaths among men between 35-69 years of age are caused with tobacco smoking. The lung cancer sickness rate has gained 63 percent over the recent ten years in Russia due to the growing demand on the tobacco production. As a rule, people start smoking at the age of 11. Eight or twelve percent of 7 and 8–graders start smoking on a regular basis. About 24 percent of students smoke in senior grades. Passive smoking has become a rather important problem in the society too. Over 60 percent of non-smokers have to breathe cigarette smoke at least for an hour a week. According to the World Health Organization, every 12th person dies from smoking consequences.

The international exhibition center in Moscow has recently held two exhibitions devoted to tea, coffee and the 75th anniversary of the Moscow region. The two shows presented nicotine-free simulating cigarettes. The fake cigarettes of the trademark Tavolga, named in honor of the herb Filipendula vulgaris, contain a variety of herbs. It is an open secret that the tobacco addiction is formed because of two factors. The human body develops addiction to nicotine, first and foremost. Secondly, people smoke on account of the so-called reflex or behavioral factor: smoking gives you the feeling that you are busy doing something.

The human body can cope with the lack of nicotine in just several days. The second factor, however, is much more difficult to handle because of the psychological side of it. Nicotine candies, gums and a lot of other methods to help a smoking individual quit become absolutely useless.

Simulating cigarettes made of herbal blends can become helpful in winning the struggle with the psychological aspect of smoking addiction. The process of smoking stabilizes the psychological state of a person, no matter if he or she smokes a normal or a simulating cigarette.

There are a lot of medications in the world, which were developed to struggle against the unhealthy habit of smoking. The majority of them are either very expensive or inefficient. Some of those medicines enjoy popularity just because of their intensive commercial advertising. The Norwegian medicine Zyban costs about $135. It is a very strong medicine, which causes a variety of side effects. It may even cause hallucinations and psychological misbalance for ten percent of patients.

The well-known US company Pfizer, the owner of the notorious Viagra brand, presented the new anti-smoking medicine Varenicline. Official spokespeople for the company said that a half of those involved in clinical trials quit smoking in seven weeks. The anti-smoking vaccine NicVAX, developed by the company Nabi Biopharmaceutical in the beginning of the last year, has failed to prove its safety.

The list of such medications may take many pages. People can find news about such pharmaceutical developments almost every month. However, as the global experience shows, scientific research will not help solve or improve the problem.

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Author`s name Olga Savka