Your Health: A new treatment to quit vaping

In Michigan, the state says one in five high school students admit to vaping and one in two high school students say they’ve tried it.
In Michigan, the state says 1 in 5 high school students admit to vaping and 1 in 2 high school students say they’ve tried it.
Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 9:50 AM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) more than 5.6 million American adults vape. That’s when someone uses an electronic device to inhale nicotine and flavored vapors. Much like cigarette smoking vaping may become a habit that is tough to quit for some.

Researchers are now conducting a clinical trial of a plant-based product that has been tested on cigarette smokers to see if it helps people hooked on vaping.

Michael Werner was a college student when he started vaping almost every hour. “I would sometimes hit it in the middle of the night if I happened to wake up,” he said.

Werner found himself quickly addicted to the nicotine but hated how vaping made him feel.

“It makes it hard to really fully be in the moment unless you’re using your device in that moment,” Werner said.

After years of tobacco use being on the decline, one in 10 young adults aged 18 to 24 now vape.

“Some of them are able to quit, but a lot of them are having trouble,” said Dr. Nancy Rigotti, Director of Tobacco Research & Treatment Center Mass. General Hospital

Dr. Rigotti and her colleagues use text messaging, behavioral counseling, and medications to help young adults who want to quit nicotine. Now, they are testing a medicine called cytisinicline made from a plant by the same name.

“The drug itself is very similar to one of our smoking cessation medicines that are called Varenicline or Chantix,” said Dr. Rigotti. “So, it has a similar effect, but it has fewer side effects, is what we’re seeing.”

Cytisinicline is thought to block the rush from nicotine and reduce withdrawal symptoms. Michael finally quit by weaning himself from his vape. He works now as a clinical research coordinator helping others kick the nicotine habit.

“I’ve spoken with a lot of folks who are in recovery from drugs and alcohol, and they will tell me time and time again, this is the hardest drug to quit,” he said.

Researchers are hoping after clinical trials, they’ll have one more option for vapers trying to quit.

In Michigan, the state says one in five high school students admit to vaping and one in two high school students say they’ve tried it.

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