Smokers Itching To Quit Now Know Why

Red Orbit
14 September 2009

Scientists are certain that they have pointed the reason why people who are actively trying to stop smoking often itch uncontrollably.

Belgian researchers think nicotine triggers a molecular trail in skin, nose and mouth membranes that are connected to inflammation. This might clarify why nicotine patches can irritate the skin, they wrote in an article available in Nature. This might help in creating treatments that help people stop smoking with fewer side effects.

Smoking is one of the biggest causes of disease and premature death worldwide and smoking-related illness costs health services billions of dollars each year.

British researchers announced in April that smokers are twice as likely to quit smoking if they use nicotine alternates and stop gradually.

U.S. research states that normally smokers take 6 to 11 attempts to fully quit. "The identification of TRPA1 as a nicotine target ... may facilitate the development of smoking cessation therapies with less adverse effects," the researchers wrote.

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