Searching for smokers: Norfolk doctor conducting trial to help people quit smoking


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

Some research is now being done in Hampton Roads for people to kick the habit in a new way.

A Norfolk-based doctor is looking for smokers to take part in a nationwide trial of a medication to help people quit smoking.

It’s called cytisinicline.

“It’s a plant-based compound,” said Dr. Kimberly Ellis, who is running the trial with the Alliance for Multispecialty Research in Norfolk. “It’s in a tablet form and it’s been found to be effective in cutting the crave that people having, or the craving people have for smoking and also kind of blunts the nicotine kick that people get.”

Tobacco use 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 in use in Eastern Europe.

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

“This will help them succeed in that, pretty much by cutting the craving for cigarettes and blocking that nicotine sort of kick that people get from nicotine,” she said.

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

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

Ellis says the study will last for a few months and she’s hopeful people will take part.

“It’s their opportunity to finally quit,” Ellis said.

For more information on the criteria to participate and how to sign up, visit the website.

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