Smokers still looking for products to help them quit

Drugmakers have yet to find a magic bullet for nicotine addiction.

By Stock Traders Daily Jan 8, 2013 2:16PM

Image: Man smoking copyright Steve Mason, Photodisc Blue, Getty ImagesBy 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. 

The leading anti-smoking drug by far is Chantix from Pfizer (PFE), which generated more than $700 million in sales in 2011. 

Approved in 2006, Chantix is the only branded treatment on the market. However, it's not without issues. Its effectiveness is considered moderate, and a recent analysis of clinical trials showed a higher rate of heart attacks or strokes in patients using Chantix than those who didn't take the product.

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.  

Whether you smoke or not, you undoubtedly want to know how to make money in the battle for the hearts and minds of tobacco users. A good place to start is with Stock Trader Daily's real time trading reports.
Jan 8, 2013 6:32PM

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!!!

Jan 8, 2013 3:45PM
I quit the only way to quit cause if you do not have the will to do so you are lost. tell your self you are going to quit and do so. I found out all that BS about wuitting is just that. There are no lasting effects when you quit except the normal what do I do with my hands which is easy to beat! They post all that crap just to keep you buying their poison
Jan 8, 2013 3:21PM
What a bunch of gutless sissies. Just stop!
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