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Helping the smoke to clear

British researchers have conducted clinical trials on a vaccine for nicotine addiction. The drug, NicVax, given in the arm like a flu shot, contains a nicotine molecule fastened to a molecule from a cholera drug. When the smoker’s immune cells attack the nicotine-cholera compound, it becomes too “fat” to enter the brain’s blood vessels, so the smoker can’t get a nicotine “high.” Booster shots would be needed every few months to add new antibodies to the bloodstream. Doctors are optimistic that NicVax, if made widely available, could be an important aid in helping smokers quit cold turkey.