Smokers still looking for products to help them quit
Drugmakers have yet to find a magic bullet for nicotine addiction.
By Barry S. Cohen, Stock Traders Daily
Quitting smoking is always one of the top New Year's resolutions. But even though millions of people worldwide probably vowed to kick the nasty habit in 2013, their pledges are unlikely to frighten executives at tobacco giants ike AltriaGroup (MO), Lorillard (LO), Reynolds American (RAI) and British American Tobacco (BTI).
There have been high hopes that the pharmaceutical industry would ride to the rescue of desperate smokers longing to quit. But the developments to date have been less than stellar.
A second anti-smoking drug is Zyban from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). It's actually the antidepressant Wellbutrin repackaged as a smoking cessation aid. Zyban has been available as a generic since 2004 and combined sales are estimated to be in the $20 million to $25 million range annually.
We all know that quitting smoking is harder than hitting a three-point basket from behind mid-court blindfolded with one hand tied behind your back. You can thank the addictive power of nicotine for that. Most people just can't cope with the symptoms that go along with quitting smoking: dizziness, depression, irritability, and sleep disturbances, to name a few. So it's no surprise that of the multitude of smokers who want to quit every year, only a tiny percentage succeed, and those mostly do so on willpower alone.
Many people turn to over-the-counter patches, inhalers, gums, and lozenges for their nicotine fix, hoping these substitutes can help wean them away from cigarettes. These alternatives are far from ideal because the risk is high that while users may quit smoking, they will become dependent on the replacement product -– and the risk of relapse is also high. Still, these products are considered attractive inasmuch as they don't contain the tars and toxins of tobacco smoke.
Many smokers were counting on the development of vaccines that could produce antibodies against nicotine, heading it off before it reaches the blood–brain barrier. The trailblazer candidate was NicVAX, for which Glaxo paid $40 million for worldwide marketing rights. Unfortunately, the vaccine didn't achieve good results in a Phase 3 trial.
For the company that does develop an effective anti-smoking drug, the potential payoff could be huge. It's estimated there are 1.3 billion smokers worldwide and about half of them want to quit. China alone has 300 million smokers.
I've quit for 9 years now and it's no walk in the park. I repeat the secret to quitting every time I see an article like this one. The secret is every time you quit it makes it easier to quit the next time. So just quit, buy hard candy to suck on or gum. Go as many days as you can say a week, or month then if you've got to have a cigarette smoke one, but only one. If you give up and smoke all night when you wake us quit again immediately and throw away the package. It will be easier every time you quit. First a few days then a few weeks, it all adds up. If you can get a couple months without cigarettes, you've got it if you want it. In other words, just because you break down you are not a loser. You have achieved something and those days,weeks, months you quit aren't for nothing. Your brain remembers and makes it easier to quit the next time.
Can I smoke a cigarette once in a while. I probably can, but the habit now disgusts me and I want nothing from it. You'll feel superior to the habit when you've got through the physical addiction, about a month. It's then that you must decide you want never to smoke again. If you can get a few months down the road you'll forget smoking most of the time. For the time you crave it, just grab a piece of gum or hard candy. " Remember, the cravings get weaker, of shorter duration and less powerful the longer you quit."
I tried nicotine gum and patches, Neither worked, but they allowed me to quit for a long enough time to reduce my addiction a little bit. After a month I threw away the helpers and went cold turkey. It became easier to quit as I said and a pleasure not to have to buy the pharmaceutical helpers.
Good Luck, you can do it!!!
MORE ON MSN MONEY
Copyright © 2013 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Quotes are real-time for NASDAQ, NYSE and AMEX. See delay times for other exchanges.
Try as the bears might, they couldn't break U.S. stocks. But investors still face frothy prices and considerable headwinds.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.
Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.
Follow us on Twitter @topstocksmsn.