Home > Nicotine vaccines for smoking cessation.

Hartmann-Boyce, Jamie and Cahill, Kate and Hatsukami, Dorothy and Cornuz, Jacques (2012) Nicotine vaccines for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (8), Art. No.: CD007072. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD007072.pub2.

External website: https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/1...

Can nicotine vaccines help people stop smoking or help stop recent quitters from relapsing?


Nicotine is the main addictive component in tobacco. When a person smokes a cigarette, nicotine causes chemicals in the brain to be released, which gives a feeling of reward to the smoker. This reward is part of the reason why people keep smoking. Nicotine vaccines are designed to work by reducing the effects of nicotine on the brain, meaning the smoker will feel less of a reward when they smoke a cigarette. By reducing the pleasure felt when smoking, vaccines may help smokers to stop smoking or help stop recent quitters from starting to smoke again.


There are no nicotine vaccines currently licensed for public use, but there are a number in development. We found four trials (2642 participants) comparing nicotine vaccines to a placebo. These did not show that vaccines help people to stop smoking in the long term. All four trials were conducted by pharmaceutical companies as part of the drug development process and involved vaccines administered by injection. There were no trials testing whether nicotine vaccines helped keep people who had stopped smoking from starting to smoke again. Only two of the four trials had full results available. The two trials showed nicotine vaccines to be generally safe, with most side effects being mild or moderate. In one trial, flu-like symptoms were found to be a side effect of the nicotine vaccine. If nicotine vaccines become available to the general public they may have changed from the ones tested in these studies, meaning the results reported in this review, including those on side effects, may not apply to all nicotine vaccines.

Item Type
Publication Type
International, Review, Article
Drug Type
Tobacco / Nicotine
Intervention Type
Treatment method, Harm reduction
August 2012
Identification #
Art. No.: CD007072. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD007072.pub2
John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
Place of Publication

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