Plan to make smoking less addictive
Scientists have made a breakthrough that could pave the way to make smoking less addictive – by creating a nicotine-free cigarette.
Japanese researchers have identified the gene which transports nicotine from the tobacco plants to their leaves.
Professor Kazufumi Yazaki has spent three years researching the Nt-JAT1 gene and hopes that one day he’ll be able to produce a cigarette that still tastes of tobacco but is ultimately less addictive.
‘We will proceed now with experiments to raise tobacco plants that have no nicotine in their leaves, although there may still be some problems to overcome,’ he told The Daily Telegraph.
‘For example, we may find that blocking the transfer leads to accumulation of the nicotine in the root cells and that could prove toxic to the plant itself.’
Professor Yazaki hopes the breakthrough will be a big help to people attempting to give up the dangerous habit.
‘It has been pointed out that people smoke for the nicotine, but there are a lot of people who want to quit and have tried to stop, but say they miss the sensation of having a cigarette in their mouth,’ he said.
‘There are people who will smoke regardless of whether the cigarette contains nicotine or not.’