Enrollment opens for national smoking cessation study in Nashville

Posted at 8:23 PM, Mar 28, 2022

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — For those who started smoking during the pandemic, they aren't alone, but now a new clinical study underway in Nashville aims to help them quit.

Clinical Research Associates, Inc. is currently enrolling smokers in a new clinical trial called ORCA-3. Medical Director Dr. Stephan Sharp is overseeing the trial, which is evaluating a plant-based, naturally occurring compound called Cytisinicline. This is a potential treatment option to help smokers who are trying to quit. The drug is already on the market in other countries.

"Every additional means to help folks get off of cigarettes is a good thing," Dr. Sharp said. "If this proves to be successful, it's great to have another tool in your toolbox."

Cigarette sales have increased for the first time in 20 years. Dr. Sharp believed the stress of the pandemic contributed to more people smoking. He said more young people have also started smoking.

Thousands of smokers are needed to participate in the study. People qualified to enroll must be at least 18 years old, and smoke at least 10 cigarettes a day. They must be willing to quit smoking, generally healthy, have tried quitting at least once before, and not enrolled in any other clinical study.

It is free to participate in the 12-week study. Participating smokers must take three pills per day, visit the Clinical Research Associates office once a week, and track their progress. Patients will also receive behavioral counseling to establish and follow a stop-smoking plan. Compensation of $1,825 is available for qualified patients.

Dr. Sharp said research shows quitting smoking can provide a variety of health benefits including a reduced risk of cancer and heart disease.

For more information on enrolling in the study call Clinical Research Associates at 615-329-2222 or visit the study's website.