By Hilary Davidson
A traditional herbal
remedy may make it easier to quit smoking for good.
Health Canada recently approved Butt Out! for Life.
It uses Lobelia inflata, better known as
Indian tobacco, as its active ingredient. An alkaloid
in the plant that is similar to nicotine but less
potent and nonaddictive blocks nicotine from the
nucleus accumbens – the brain’s pleasure
centre. Users take a capsule three times daily.
Butt Out! for Life, developed by Larry Kunkel of
Garibaldi Highlands, B.C., is sold at drugstores
and health-food stores nationwide for about $25
for a month’s supply.
But prevention is still better than cure. “The
vast majority of young smokers believe they will
quit in the next few years,” says Les Hagen,
executive director of Action on Smoking & Health
in Edmonton. A 1996 Statistics Canada report found
that 48 per cent of females aged 15 to 24 in Alberta
(31 per cent across Canada) were lighting up. “About
80 per cent will go on to be long-term smokers.
And one in two smokers dies of a smoking-related
illness,” Hagen says.
From the June 1998 issue of Canadian