Finding smokers: Norfolk doctor leads trial to help people quit smoking

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NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – There are many ways to quit smoking and others to make it easier for you to stick with it.

Research is currently underway at Hampton Roads to get people to get rid of this habit in a new way.

A Norfolk-based doctor is seeking smokers to participate in a nationwide trial of a drug to help people quit smoking.

It’s called cytisinicline.

“It’s a herbal compound,” said Dr Kimberly Ellis, who is leading the trial with the Alliance for Multispecialty Research in Norfolk. “It comes in pill form and has been shown to be effective in reducing the urge that people have, or the urge to smoke, and also somewhat dull the nicotine kick that people have.”

Smoking is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced, killing more than 8 million people a year, according to the World Health Organization.

Cytisinicline is already used in Eastern Europe.

Ellis is looking for smokers who have already tried to quit – and are willing to set a new quit date – to participate in the study.

“It will help them achieve that, pretty much by cutting the urge to smoke and blocking that kind of nicotine that people get from nicotine,” she said.

Ellis says a new tool to quit smoking could be particularly important as COVID-19 continues to spread.

“If you get COVID, you know, it affects the severity of the disease, without a doubt,” Ellis said. “A lot of people are ready and I think the most important thing is people have to be ready to set a date and that really helps.”

Ellis says the study will run for a few months and that she hopes people will participate.

“This is their chance to finally quit,” said Ellis.

For more information on the participation criteria and how to register, visit the website.



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