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Wear The Gown: A clinical trial for the first plant-based way to quit smoking

For the first time in over 20 years the number of U.S. smokers increased with the pandemic mostly to blame.

SAN ANTONIO — Most of us know that COVID-19 attacks the lungs, and if you smoke that raises your risk level of severe illness. 

According to the CDC smoking is leading cause of preventable disease, disability and death in the U.S., with close to half a million deaths from smoking every year. And for the first time in 20 years, the Federal Trade Commission says cigarette purchases are up because of the pandemic.

"Smoking has been bouncing back due to COVID 19 and the changes in lifestyle that people have taken on since COVID 19, with a significant rise in need for people to have smoking cessation programs in place," said Barbara Corral, the Assistant Director for Early Phase Services at Clinical Trials of Texas. 

In 2020, 13 out of every 100 U.S. adults over the age of 18 smoked cigarettes. That means about 31 million adults in the U.S. were smokers as of that year, and more than 16 million Americans live with a smoking-related disease. Corral added, "About 27 seven percent of people sought help in the quitting of smoking recently, since the pandemic."

For long-term smokers quitting is difficult. But a new plant-based compound currently in a clinical trial called ORCA-3, here at the Clinical Trials of Texas, called cytisinicline hopes to change the game --- eliminating withdrawal symptoms that make it so hard to put down the smokes. 

Corral said, "It mimics nicotine effects in the body and therefore reduces withdrawal symptoms that typically draw people away from other smoking cessation medications that cause them to have significant withdrawal effects."  

Corral says there's a need for new options in a big way. She told us, "We've had several agents on the market already and cases are still going up for people that actually need smoking cessation help."  

To find out more information about the ORCA-3 trial and to see if you qualify just go to SAResearch.com.

For more Wear The Gown stories, click here.

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