Printer Friendly

LOSE THAT BUTT; Superpill helps smokers quit ..and get slimmer.


SCIENTISTS have invented a superpill that helps smokers quit cigarettes AND lose weight.

The drug rimonabant works by blocking circuits in the brain that control the urge to smoke and eat.

In one trial, it helped dieters shed an average of 20lbs (9kg) in a year.

In a second study, it doubled the chances of smokers quitting cigarettes in the short term. Nearly a third were still not smoking after a month.

Doctors are excited about the drug, to be marketed under the brand name of Acomplia, because one of the biggest problems faced by smokers trying to quit is piling on the pounds.

Dr Ian Campbell, of the UK National Obesity Forum, said: "A drug which could tackle both problems would represent a fantastic opportunity."

The makers, French firm Sanofi-Synthelabo, hope it will be available to the public within two years. Dr Robert Anthenelli of the University of Cincinnati directed the study of nearly 800 heavy smokers.

He said: "This might be the ideal compound for people who are overweight and smoke."

Dr Jean-Pierre Depres of the Quebec Heart Institute carried out an obesity trial and was able to tell which patients were on the drug when they turned down chocolate cake at a buffet.

He said: "We saw a spectacular drop in waistlines and changes in many other risk factors that are beyond what you would ordinarily expect."

Researchers also found much lower levels of triglycerides, the so-called bad cholesterol.

Those on the highest doses of the drug shed three inches off their waists and around 10 per cent of their body weight. It also protected them against heart disease and diabetes.

The drug works by blocking the brain's endocannabinoid system which regulates hunger and other urges.

It is thought over-eating and smoking can over-stimulate this system, leading people to eat and smoke even more.

Rimonabant seems to block these signals, allowing the body to return to normal.

- OBESITY is set to overtake smoking as the biggest preventable cause of death in America. More than 400,000 people died from fat-related illnesses in 2000, a 33 per cent rise in 10 years. Smoking accounted for 435,000 deaths in 2000.


UP IN SMOKE: Cigarettes
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 11, 2004
Previous Article:Charlotte lake hunt.

Related Articles
BREAST DRUG YET; 'Cocktail' stops cancer returning.
pounds 80 if you're caught dropping fag butt.
Smokers trying to kick the butt advised to wait until festive season gets over.
Now, iPhone's 'My QuitLine' app helps smokers kick the butt.
Most New Year smoking quitters don't last more than 24hrs.
Nicotine gum effective for smoking reduction.
Nicotine gum effective for smoking reduction.
Persistent anti-smoking warnings may force smokers to kick the butt.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters