New Nicotine Vaccine (NicVAX)

duertydeedz ( Bronze )
Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:26

14 Jun 2002, 02:26 #11


This article says they injected these rats with the nicotine of the equivalent of 10 packs a day. Those poor wonder the chattering teeth and siezures.

To me, if this drug stops the brain from getting 64 percent of its addiction, then it is going to require the person /host to smoke 3 times as much to get the same level of nicotine to the brain. I may be wrong, but thats the way I see it. There is no way I can see this as a valid way of getting people off nicotine. Those poor rats.

DuertyDeedz / william

9 days off nicotine / meter non avail on this computer.

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:03

14 Jun 2002, 07:08 #12

I think I am going to have to chime in on this one. I have been doing some thinking on the nature of addiction and the role of science / medicine in supporting recovery from addiction. I haven't come to any hard and fast conclusions but here are my thoughts to date:

I occurs to me that addiction is not a medical problem - it is a problem with medical implications. If it were a medical problem, medicine could cure it. I think the most a scientist or physician can hope to accomplish is to encourage and support the healing process. The choice to heal, the battle to overcome, and the victory of freedom belongs to the addict. (From a physicians point of view, what exactly that support and encouragement looks like is what I am still trying to sort out - but that probably isn't important for this conversation.)

The first step to overcoming addiction is separating the addict from their drug of choice. It seems this is the point in the process that science has been focusing on. Maybe because it involves something tangible and measurable. If a vaccine helps the addict accomplish this step, I say great. If not - throw it out.

But quitting is just the first step, maybe not even the most important one. What I mean is you can white knuckle your way through physical withdrawl but if this is all you do, in the long run, you are likely to fail. Why? You haven't fixed your thinking. Your body might be healing, but in your heart and mind you are still a junkie. I believe those on this board who have relapsed in the past (as I have) are intimately aquainted with this simple fact.

We talk a lot here about education - the educated quit. But what are we really saying? I can tell you that I knew a whole lot about anatomy and physiology before I ever got here and I was struggling to quit. We hear stories from oncologist and respiratory therapist and heart surgeons who struggle to quit. We hear about people getting toes and feet and legs amputated who struggle to quit. These folks have a lot of knowledge - either from formal education, observation or personal experience. But obviously the knowledge they have does not equal power in this arena. So what does? I think it is understanding the nature of addiction and how you as an addict are thinking and operating in the world. You can't get that kind of insight from a vaccine, and without it, I think you will always be chasing an external fix in some form or another.

Let's imagine for a minute that they do develop a vaccine that will 100% block nicotine's ability to release dopamine. Will people quit? Absolutely. No dopamine means no payoff, therefore no smoking. Don't believe me. Have you ever bought a pack of herbal cigerettes? How many of those did you actually smoke? Have you ever heard of anyone struggling to give them up? Or how about those fake plastic cigerettes they sold in the supermarket checkout lanes for a while. If smoking were a "habit" those things would have worked. But we were not in the habit of putting a burning weed in our mouths and inhaling, we were addicted to nicotine. And if cigerettes no longer delivered nicotine, we would have no longer use them.

Ok great. They make a vaccine, you no longer get any good gravy out of smoking, people quit and we all go home happy - right? I really don't think so. I'm not saying this is a bad scenerio. It does solve some of society's problems because smoking and its related diseases are expensive. It could keep kids from getting addicted in the first place so a generation or two from now things could be different. However, it doesn't solve MY problem or the problem of those currently addicted - and that's what we're talking about here.

For one thing, I think as addicts we come to believe that we need something outside of ourselves to fix us, handle our problems and make everything ok. Today, everytime I encounter something I don't THINK I can handle I have a decision to make. I can either go back to using my drug of choice or I can work through the problem. Everytime I vote for me instead of nicotine I get a little stronger and a little healthier. Not so much because I didn't use nicotine (though that is a very good thing), but because I didn't look outside myself for the fix.

In this world there is no lack of outside fixes. It is all around us. We are smart folks here. Imagine if you will companies instituting mandatory vaccinations for all their employees. Who could blame them. After all, smoking costs them a lot of money - smokers take more breaks, get sick more often, etc. But what do you think would happen to these employees if all of a sudden nicotine had no affect on their brain? I am pretty confident all the current addicts could find something to take its place - I know I could.

Here is an example I shared earlier - One of the things I used smoking for was to stay awake and stay focused so I could study all night. Guess what - a stimulant will do that for you. A few weeks into my quit the thought crossed my mind that if there was something else that could do what nicotine did for me that would be an ok deal. Man, did that thought scare me - even more so because I know such things exist and where I could find them. In fact, I have a colleague who is in rehab right now for this very reason. You think I am kidding?

Maybe you think I am over-reacting. Or maybe you think I am way off topic here. Think what you want - all I know is I don't want to end up one day with a script pad in my pocket and junkie thinking in my mind. If you would have even implied this was possible a few month ago I would have said you were crazy. But it has happened to people stronger than me and it seems like the world is working overtime right now to prove to me how real and dangerous this possibility is.

I am NOT saying this is the position most smokers find themselves in, I'm not advocating the view of nicotine as some kind of "gateway drug", I am just giving you maybe a more extreme example to make a point. As long as we go looking for external solutions to our problems, junkie thinking will rule and freedom will allude us. A vaccination might cause a smoker to quit smoking, but I think it does about as much to fix the underlying problem as performing liposuction on a bulimic.

If you are lurking around you might think that none of this really applies to you. (Lord knows I'm still trying to get it through my thick skull.) After all you are a smoker - maybe its an addiction, but it is just a little addiction ... a polite, legal one. And if you were going to replace your addiction with another external fix you would choose chocolate or something else equally polite and legal. You are probably right about the chocolate thing, but my question to you is - is that freedom? Sounds like a pretty cheap counterfeit to me. It might not always be easy, but I am beginning to believe that true freedom is possible - accept no substitutes.


richard This is It GOLD
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

14 Jun 2002, 07:32 #13

WOW JennyG Image Great post.....

..... and you were worried 'bout exams a while back....

If you'd written any way near the style of the above, you'll sail through.....

(well, apart from the "allusion" that is Image)


Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:03

14 Jun 2002, 08:38 #14

Darn you Richard, are you proof reading my post?Image I guess you have to have something to occupy your time now that you are cruising around in that limo! You know, I would consider forwarding them to you for editing if I could be sure you wouldn't throw in a bunch of that crazy lingo you were talking earlier today. Hehehe. Oh man, and I soooo want to be perfect. Curses. Oh well, in another life time I guess. Thanks for the compliment though - sometimes I worry that I get a little too far off into left field. Hope you have enjoyed your special day.


John (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

14 Jun 2002, 09:54 #15

Excellent post Jenny, in fact all of them were great! It's a lot to think about and there is some fantastic minds at work out there.

Jenny, in my mind knowledge truly is the foundation for personal change but if we don't know how to apply what we've learned, or we simply choose to ignore it, it wasn't of much benefit. Thank goodness that the law of addiction is pretty darn simple Image

As for NicVAX, like Joel says and Rosemary points out, if it only blocks 64% of the nicotine from getting through that implies that it may still be possible for nicotine to satisfy an addict's need.

Rosemary, it's terrible to think that they would create chemical dependency in non-smokers in order to prove a study. I hope they'll rethink that part. If not I pray they'll eventually be able to block 100% of nicotine.

And for those mice with chattering teeth, William, I can't imagine what I'd look and feel like after smoking ten packs a day but I'm sure it wouldn't be a pretty sight. Where are those animal rights folks when it comes to smoking!!! Geeeesh!!!

richard This is It GOLD
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

14 Jun 2002, 10:32 #16


Hey John,

I and a bunch of us here have discovered a way "to block 100% of nicotine" .... ready... repeat after me....


Joined: 09 Jan 2009, 20:41

14 Jun 2002, 11:13 #17

Some day someone may develop something that prevents ALL addictions but if I waited I would die, however that does not stop me from wishing them well for all the future generations to come.I do have a quote here though that I would like to share for those who may not have seen it before.

"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance--
that principle is contempt prior to investigation."

-Herbert Spencer


marty (gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

14 Jun 2002, 17:58 #18

Neat quote, Carl

However, it was made by a guy who lived in a different age. He existed in a time and place (late 19th century Britain) when science was generally a force for good. Nowadays we have to be a bit more suspicious of the motivation of our scientists, and the possible misuses of science. Research into a nicotine vaccine may well have an incidental "knowledge for its own sake" value. I would certainly not be "contemptuous" of research provided it is being carried out with proper scientific objectivity and has the purpose of creating something of clearly positive value to humanity.

In this case, as Joel has pointed out, the stated objective of the research is to produce a product which has dubious value to quitters, and which could easily mislead smokers and quitters into believing that an "elixir" has been discovered (rather like NRT). If the scientists would state clearly that the objective of their research is to produce a drug which will vaccinate young children against possible future addiction to nicotine, and is likely to achieve a 64% success rate, and society still wanted them to proceed, then I have little problem with the research. Personally, I as a parent would never agree to have my children so vaccinated, but that would just be my individual choice.

It seems to me that these scientists are in fact solely commercially motivated. Their press release makes claims which are misleading such as ""NicVAX is an entirely new approach to fighting and preventing nicotine addiction," said David J. Gury, Nabi Biopharmaceuticals chairman..." when in fact it will not help in fighting addiction at all.

So should I be "contemptuous" of the research ? Maybe not, but I certainly will maintain a healthy cynicism until I am satisfied that this is not just another pharmaceutical company attempting to exploit a group of people who desperately need real help.

NOT A PUFF FOR 1 year 6 months 2 weeks

marty (gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

14 Jun 2002, 18:28 #19

Hey guys

I just realized that I've done it again --- I'm getting a bit controversial in my post above. There's a danger that we could start to get sidetracked into a debate about social and moral issues here, and while it's all very interesting that kind of debate should take place elsewhere, not at Freedom.

We have much more important things to do here, like help each other secure our quits, and to teach as many people as we can about smoking and quitting.

I want to leave my post here, because I think it does address an important issue for all of us --- we have to protect our own quits in the way we have learned here, and not hang around in hope of a new magical "cure".

But I don't want to debate my other comments, or Herbert Spencer Image , on this thread. If anyone is interested, I'd be thrilled to have an email discussion on the wider topic Image

Please humor me, everyone Image


Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

14 Jun 2002, 19:47 #20

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