A new study has found a possible aid to quitting smoking in an unlikely place – tobacco fields.
The study looked at an enzyme that is found in bacteria that thrives in nicotine fields. The bacteria consumes nicotine as its sole source of carbon and nitrogen. Researchers theorized that in smokers the bacteria may intercept nicotine before it makes it to the brain, interupting the “reward” for smoking and making it easier to quit.
“The bacterium is like a little Pac-Man,” said Kim Janda, one of the researchers. “It goes along and eats nicotine.”
The researchers founds that when the bactria was introduced into the bloodstream of mice, nicotine disappeared from their blood much more quickly.
In the future, smokers may be able to get an injection of the bacteria that lasts for up to a month.