• The month of January has just ended but it's never too late to make good resolutions, such as quitting smoking.

  • Many people try every possible method to achieve this.

  • A new solution may soon be available to them.

    The Eurofins Optimed center is currently carrying out a clinical study on a product based on tobacco leaf proteins which would reduce the urge to smoke.

It's getting more and more expensive, it's dangerous for your health and it doesn't give good breath.

There are as many reasons to quit smoking as there are solutions that have been developed in recent years.

What if the miracle came from the tobacco itself?

On paper (or sheet), the idea may seem surprising.

This solution has however been validated by the High Authority for Health for clinical trials.

But it is not so new since it was tested in the early 2000s, from an allergenic extract.

“The NFL-101 product comes from a desensitization treatment from the Institut Pasteur, explains Doctor Yves Donazzolo, director of the Eurofins Optimed center in Gières (Isère) which is coordinating this study throughout France.

The extract, made from tobacco leaf, was developed for people who worked in tobacco fields and became allergic from handling the leaves.


A drug that works "like a vaccine against tobacco"

The president of the center specifies that he imagined a weaning technique with this extract by “chance”.

“We realized that by administering this product for desensitization, people had less desire to smoke and had naturally reduced their consumption by at least 50%.

But we don't really know why.

We simply understand that there is an immunological action.


To sum up, the drug tested acts on "the same principle as a vaccine against tobacco", says Dr. Yves Donazzolo.

“When we inject tobacco leaf proteins in small volumes – there is nothing else, no molecules – we have found that the body produces cytokines”, explains the healthcare professional.

Cytokine being a substance produced by the immune system.

Anyone volunteering for the trial?

The clinical trial must make it possible to verify the real effect of this medicine.

"The idea is to know if this product has an interest as a smoking cessation therapy", launches the instigator of the study.

And for that, you need volunteers who really want to quit smoking and who have the habit of smoking “at least eleven cigarettes a day”.

“For a year, we have managed to have 218 volunteers in ten cities in France.

We would have to reach more than 300 to have real statistics, knowing that we are administering two different doses and a placebo, ”explains the president of the Gières center.

A second test phase, planned later, will this time concern people who do not necessarily want to quit smoking.

To participate, all you have to do is be motivated, be between 18 and 70 years old, and agree to be accompanied for a period of one year.

There are only two injections to be done but the follow-up and the ten or so appointments are then spread out every three months.

As indicated by the League against cancer on its site, supported by Dr. Yves Donazzolo: “In the absence of follow-up, there are on average 80% of recurrences in the year following smoking cessation.


Why this drug rather than another?

Addiction to cigarettes is therefore difficult to combat.

"The problem is not to stop, it's not to resume", notes the doctor who lists the different solutions to stop such as hypnosis, acupuncture, patches or other drugs. .

“Unlike all these methods, the product plays on desire.

As for those who are not addicts, smokers will see a cigarette and will be indifferent”, assures Yves Donazzolo.

Before adding: “And there are no notable side effects except a little pain at the time of the injection.

The doctor recalls that smoking is responsible for more than 75,000 deaths per year in France - and that it is "never too late" to quit smoking.


Good resolutions: Do we really have to be a “better” version of ourselves every year?


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  • Health

  • Isere

  • Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes

  • Drug

  • Tobacco

  • Cigarette

  • Clinical test