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Vaccine to Stop Cigarette Smoking!

weill cornelNew York’s Weill Cornell Medical Center (inset 1) researchers say that they have developed a new vaccine that will help smokers deal with the addictive effects of nicotine in cigarettes.They say that the vaccine contains genetically engineered “nicotine antibodies.”

Antibodies are molecules that attach themselves to harmful substances in the body. These antibodies then destroy the harmful substances or make them harmless.The vaccine carries nicotine antibodies directly to the liver, where the antibodies genetically combine with liver cells, causing liver cells to start producing other nicotine antibodies of their own. In other words, the liver is used as a factory for making more nicotine antibodies.

These antibodies search for nicotine molecules in the blood and destroy them before they reach the smoker’s brain or heart. As such, smokers would not feel enjoyment from smoking.Other kinds of treatments have been designed to help smokers kick the habit; but none of the previous treatments offer lifetime protection against nicotine’s addictive effects.

nicotine vaccineAvailable nicotine vaccines and medicines are expensive because their effects are temporary, meaning patients have to keep getting injections or keep buying medication. Moreover, the treatments are not always effective.

So far, the new vaccine has only been tested on mice and more tests are needed before it will be available for humans.

Professor Ronald Crystal, the chairman of Genetic Medicine in Weill Cornell Medical Center, believes the vaccine may someday be used by parents who wish to prevent their children from getting into the smoking habit.

Doctors, however, warn that people should try other treatments first before getting a vaccine that causes big genetic changes to the body.

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Public smoking ban stays – MMDA

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) warned Thursday that its campaign to arrest and fine smokers in public places continues while a legal technicality remains unresolved in the local court that issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the MMDA campaign. 

MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said the public smoking ban in Metro Manila will remain in full force and effect until the petitioners post the P100,000 bond required by the local court that issued the TRO. “We have coordinated with the local court and we have learned that the petitioners have not yet put up the P100,000 bond, it is one of the conditions in the temporary restraining order (TRO). Thus, the TRO is not yet effective,” said Tolentino.

Tolentino warned smokers that the agency will continue to implement the ban in other public areas such as bus terminals – areas not covered by Republic Act 9211 or the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2009. As of Thursday, Tolentino reported that they have a total of 6,200 apprehensions since the ban started. Tolentino said the agency’s legal department is still drafting the motion for reconsideration (MR) to be filed before the Mandaluyong City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 213 that issued the TRO against the MMDA.

Tolentino said he was dismayed upon hearing reports that one of the petitioners in court that he was backed by a big tobacco company when he filed the complaint against the agency, citing that could be “abuse of the judicial process.”

In a six-page order dated Aug. 15, 2011, Judge Carlos Valenzuela granted the petition for the issuance of the TRO filed by security guards Anthony Clemente and Vrianne Lamsen. The Mandaluyong Regional Trial Court earlier issued a 20-day TRO on the MMDA public smoking ban. But in response to television reports, the petitioner who questioned the MMDA’s authority in implementing the smoking ban clarified that he is not working for a tobacco company and he was not paid to file the complaint. According to the affidavit of Clemente, courtesy of his lawyer, Atty. Luis de la Paz, the interview was used out of context and far from the truth.

He said he never became an employee of a tobacco company and he denied that a lawyer from a tobacco company asked him to get caught by MMDA environmental enforcers. Mandaluyong City RTC Branch 213 Judge Carlos Valenzuela issued a 20-day TRO against the MMDA’s anti-smoking drive “on sidewalks and public thoroughfares” on Tuesday morning. (With reports from Carlo Suerte Felipe and Ellson A. Quismorio)

By ANNA LIZA T. VILLAS

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2011 in News, Issues & Politics

 

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