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Clinical trial in Arizona studies new medication to help smokers quit

(Pixabay photo)

PHOENIX — A new medication to help smokers kick the habit has not been approved for usage in the United States in more than a decade.

An Arizona State University professor whose research focuses on tobacco dependence is hoping to change that.

Scott Leischow is leading a clinical trial in Arizona to assess the efficacy and safety of Cytisincline as a smoking cessation therapy. Similar trials are being held nationwide.

“It elevates the dopamine levels a bit so that the withdrawal symptoms are not as bad,” Leischow told KTAR News 92.3 FM, explaining how Cytisincline works. “That makes it easier to quit smoking.”

Leischow added this new medication works similar to Chantix, which is a medication that also helps people quit smoking, except there appear to be fewer side effects.

The clinical trial is directed to adults who smoke cigarettes daily and who are willing to quit smoking within five to seven days after starting the treatment.

“If a person is not really motivated to quit, then they won’t quit,” Leischow said. “You have to be motivated.”

Participants may be compensated up to $1,950. They’ll be asked to commit to taking Cytisincline for 12 weeks and come back after six months to see if they’ve stopped smoking. Behavioral support will also be provided.

“The main thing we want to find out is does this new medication help people quit smoking,” Leischow said.

“We also want to see if they felt any withdrawal symptoms or experienced any side effects,” he added. “So far the studies that have been published on this medication look really good, very promising.”

Those who’d like to participate can get more information by calling 775-476-2360.

Arizona open and hiring: If you’re looking for job openings, visit

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