A smoker enjoying his puff, apparently ignoring no smoking sign next to him. (Photo: Flickr / Nabila)

A smoker enjoying his puff, apparently ignoring no smoking sign next to him. (Photo: Flickr / Nabila)

Injectable vaccine called NicVAX is likely to open a new front in the tobacco wars.

The vaccine stops nicotine from being addictive by preventing it from entering the brain, according to a report by Mail Oline.

In human trials the vaccine proved successful in 50 per cent of cases.

There are many products currently on the market to help people quit smoking such as nicotine patches, and gum.

But many of the existing smoking cessation products fail to prevent people from returning to their tobacco habits. NicVAX is the first product that prevents smokers from returning to their habit with others just stopping their immediate tobacco use.

It helps create antibodies that bind to the addictive nicotine molecule, preventing them from passing from the blood into the brain.

Trials have shown that it halves the number of people returning to their habit compared with those given a placebo over six months.

Those vaccinated were 3.5 times more likely not to be smoking again after a year.

Medical research from the American Lung Association shows that relapse rates among smokers are as high as 90 per cent within a year of quitting.

Jean Stephanie, president of GSK’s Biological Divisions, told the Financial Times: ‘If approved, this…. technology could be a novel solution to help the millions of smokers who want to stop smoking and remain abstinent; a habit that is well documented to be very hard to stop permanently.’

It comes as sales of anti-smoking patches, gums and other devices declined last year.

In June, scientists claimed a blood pressure pill might help people quit smoking.

Researchers believe that the beta blocker drug works on certain brain chemicals and effectively deletes some of the memories associated with the habit.

It is these memories which help drive the craving and lead to thousands of would-be quitters relapsing.

Malaysian government reported to be spending RM20mil annually for a five-year anti-smoking campaign ‘Tak Nak’ and the new vaccine NicVAX could be the cure to more than 3.6 million smokers in the country.