$10 Million Wasted on Nicotine Vaccine Studies by Federal Government
By Lindsay Fox Posted November 25, 2012
In a very interesting article, Dr. Siegel points out the immense amount of money wasted by the Federal government in a misguided attempt to get people to quit smoking. The US government has given NABI Pharmaceuticals a grant amounting to $10 million in order to start clinical trials for an injectable vaccine called NicVax, the purpose of which was to help people stop smoking cigarettes.
What the writer takes great pains to point out is that it is not just the nicotine habit that smokers cannot get rid of. While nicotine addiction is undeniably a very important factor in the inability to quit smoking, there are other physical and psychological factors as well. Long term smokers will assert that they have grown to love (or depend on) the sensation of pulling on a cigarette and inhaling the smoke and also the process of holding on to a cigarette for long periods and then taking it to their mouth. Therefore, merely focusing on the nicotine addiction aspect of the problem will not give the desired results.
Dr. Siegel, believes strongly that the money could have been spent better on researching other methods to help smoking cessation. For instance, e cigarettes are the only method available today that mimics almost every aspect of cigarette smoking without exposing the ‘smoker’ to toxins such as tar and carbon monoxide. What is even worse, as the author points out, is that the federal government has a simultaneous campaign to discredit electronic cigarettes. It has released information over-stressing the amount of toxins present in nicotine (which are in any case minuscule when compared to the amount of harmful substances in cigarette smoke) in an attempt to scare people away from using these devices.
The author also questions the government’s policy of appointing biased people to various advisory bodies. He has mentioned the names of many people who have received funding by pharmaceutical companies who have been taken on in advisory positions in various NIH panels. The entire article is definitely worth a read, click here. Hopefully, taxpayers will eventually get the right information about how their money is being spent.