Plant-Based Compound Cytisine Can Increase Chances Of Quitting Smoking, Study Shows

In Education

Scientists are recommending Cytisine as an effective and affordable drug that can help people looking to quit smoking in 2024. Cytisine is a plant based compound with a history of helping smokers in Eastern Europe since the 1960s. A recent study in Argentina has scientifically demonstrated that Cytisine significantly increases the chances of successfully quitting smoking, more than doubling the effectiveness compared to a placebo.

Cytisine alleviates smoking symptoms

Cytisine, developed in Bulgaria in 1964 as Tabex®, alleviates smoking cessation symptoms. It has expanded to Eastern European and Asian countries and, in 2017, entered Poland as Desmoxan® (prescription) and Canada as Cravv® (over-the-counter natural health product).

Although Cytisine is recognized for its efficacy and safety it is inaccessible in numerous countries, including the United States, and is not licensed or marketed in most nations outside Central and Eastern Europe. This limits access to the potentially life-saving treatment, particularly in low and middle-income countries.

According to Dr. Omar De Santi, the lead author, the research contributes to the growing body of evidence supporting the efficacy and affordability of cytisine as a smoking cessation aid. De Santi said that the study emphasizes its potential significance in addressing the urgent need for cost-effective cessation drugs in low- and middle-income countries (LAMI), where smoking reduction is crucial. Globally, smoking is a major contributor to preventable deaths, and cytisine is positioned as a promising solution to this public health issue.

Cytisine favorable relative to nicotine replacement therapy

Researchers at Centro Nacional de Intoxicaciones (CNI) conducted a thorough analysis by combining data from eight randomized controlled trials, encompassing almost 6,000 participants—a gold standard in clinical research. The results demonstrated that cytisine significantly enhanced smoking cessation rates compared to a placebo. Comparisons with nicotine replacement therapy favored cytisine, albeit modestly, while no distinct advantage was observed over varenicline.

The study highlights the potential of cytisine as a cost-effective and effective resource for smoking cessation therapies, particularly in economically disadvantaged nations. The authors emphasize its significance in addressing the global health issue of smoking-related deaths. However, the limited availability of cytisine remains a major obstacle to its widespread use.

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