Updated: Wed, May 30 10:23 AM EDT
DURHAM, N.C. (Reuters) - Duke University researchers say they were seeking to team up with a drug company to fund clinical trials of a nicotine solution that can be added to drinks to help smokers quit.
In an initial clinical study involving just 25 smokers, 20 percent were able to quit after six months, typical results for smoking-cessation products like nicotine gum and patches, said Eric Westman, an assistant professor in the department of medicine at Duke University Medical Center.
"One of the advantages of the oral solution is that it involves a hand-to-mouth action, similar to that of smoking," he said Tuesday. "Also, the nicotine is metabolized fairly rapidly, providing a quicker nicotine boost than is provided by a nicotine patch."
Westman and two other Duke researchers were awarded a patent for the nicotine solution in April.
In the study, participants were given packets of the solution, and with each beverage consumed nicotine equivalent to smoking about one to three cigarettes.