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Nicotine Drops New Weapon In War On Smoking

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DURHAM — If you are trying to kick the smoking habit, chances are you would try anything to help get you past those cravings-- and the more convenient the better.

Duke researchers have developed nicotine drops to help. All you do is put a few drops into your favorite beverage. That is all it takes to get you past that "I've gotta have a smoke" urge. It has certainly worked for Pete Runich.

Runich tried quitting many times but always failed. Until now.

"I probably smoked 30-35 years," he says. "I decided I wanted to take control of my life, and one of the things that was controlling me was cigarettes."

For Runich, it is the solution he has been searching for

When mixed into your favorite drink, the solution satisfies that nicotine craving. Just a few drops in any beverage does the trick.

"We've found that it's tolerable and tasteless in just about every beverage," Dr. Eric Westman says, "so if a smoker chooses an alcoholic beverage, tea or coffee, it's tasteless."

It works within minutes.

"When I have the urge to smoke, I just put two to three drops in my can and I sip on it, and then 10-15 minutes later the urge goes away," Runich says.

Early studies show the solution appears to work about as well the nicotine patch and gum.

"The actual success rate was 20 percent at six months," Westman says.

With more research under way, doctors at Duke hope their creation will one day provide a simple and convenient tool to help smokers kick the habit for good.

Westman and his colleages have patented their solution. They are waiting for a pharmaceutical company to sponsor a larger clinical trial to help get FDA approval.

So far there are not any side effects. One person tried it straight and, other than a stomach ache, it did not really bother him.