Tabex smoking drug shows promise

An anti-smoking drug called Tabex may “boost a person’s chances of ditching cigarettes three-fold,” The Sun has today reported.

The smoking cessation drug, also known as cytisine, has been available in some Eastern European and former Soviet countries, such as Russia, for more than 40 years.

Anti-smoking drug Tabex

Anti-smoking drug Tabex

However, the researchers of this study said that the drug has not previously been tested in a way that would meet modern regulatory standards, which all drugs must satisfy before they can be marketed in the UK. To test the effectiveness of the smoking drug, the researchers performed a study using 740 volunteers who were either given the drug or a dummy (placebo) drug for 25 days. They found that 12 months after treatment, 8.4% of participants taking cytisine had successfully quit, compared to 2.4% of participants taking the placebo. This equated to an extra 6% of people giving up smoking, a performance comparable to existing approved treatments.

As well as producing promising results, the drug is reported to be inexpensive, which singles it out as a potential future treatment within the UK. However, given that the trial was relatively small and short it is likely that more research will be needed to confirm its effectiveness and safety before regulators can approve its use.

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