Nymox's NicAlert Can Detect Second-Hand Smoke Exposure in the Home
MAYWOOD, NEW JERSEY--Nymox Pharmaceutical Corporation's NicAlert(TM) product can help parents determine the level
of a child's exposure to second-hand smoke at home.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has newly announced the launching of national and local campaigns to urge parents to make their home smoke-free to protect their children's health.
Studies have shown that the NicAlert(TM) can detect second-hand smoke exposure using urine samples. One study found that NicAlert(TM) testing of urine could detect smoke exposure in all
children with smokers in their homes and distinguish these individuals from those with a smoke-free environment.
Second-hand smoke is a well-recognized health risk particularly to children and people with asthma. Second-hand smoke exposure has been linked to cancer and to increased risk of heart disease
and stroke, causing an estimated 3,000 lung cancer deaths and 35,000 heart disease deaths in nonsmokers each year in the U.S. It is especially harmful to young children, causing between
150,000 to 300,000 lower respiratory tract infections a year and being linked to increased risk of ear infection, pneumonia, asthma attacks and sudden infant death syndrome. A recently
published study sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) linked second-hand smoke exposure to tooth decay in children (JAMA 2003; 289:1258-1264).
Despite the recent successes in banning smoking from workplaces and restaurants and other public places, the CDC recently reported that children aged 3 to 11 are being exposed to second-hand smoke at levels more than twice those of adults
(Second National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals Jan 2003 CDC).
Michael Munzar, Medical Director of Nymox, said, "NicAlert(TM) can play an important role in detecting second-hand smoke
exposure in children and raising parents' awareness of the importance of this issue to their child's health. NicAlert(TM) offers a cost-effective way of quickly, easily and accurately determining second-hand exposure."
NicAlert(TM) received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in October 2002.
NicAlert(TM) is a powerful one-step patented urine test for detecting smoking and tobacco product exposure that combines the advantages of semi-quantitative measurement together with an easy-to-use, cost effective, rapid format. NicAlert(TM) does not require any instruments or special training for its use.
Two recent independent peer-reviewed studies found the technology employed in NicAlert(TM) to be an accurate, rapid and cost-effective means of confirming smoking status. One study, "Validating a Dipstick Method for Detecting Recent Smoking,"
Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention (2002; 11: 1123-1125) was authored by Peter Gariti of the University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center Group, Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, David I. Rosenthal of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Kathleen Lindell of the University of Pittsburgh and
John Hansen-Flaschen, Joseph Shrager, Craig Lipkin, Arthur I. Alterman and Lawrence R. Kaiser of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. The study examined the smoking status of patients at a cancer clinic and found that the results obtained using Nymox's tobacco product exposure test had an "excellent agreement" with state-of-the-art sophisticated laboratory
measurements but at a substantially lower cost (over 90% less). The second study, "The Accuracy of Self-Reported Smoking Status Assessed by Cotinine Test Strips," Nicotine & Tobacco Research (2002; 4: 305-9) was authored by Donna R. Parker, ScD, and Thomas M Lasater, PhD, Brown University School of Medicine; Richard
Windsor, PhD, MPH, George Washington University Medical Center;
Jeff Wilkins, MD, Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare Center, David
Upegui, BA, Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island; and James Heimdal,
PhD, The Hoffman Heart Institute, Saint Francis Hospital and
Medical Center, Hartford, CT. The study found Nymox's product to
be "an inexpensive and rapid method to routinely biochemically
confirm smoking status at a clinical visit." The authors
described the Nymox product as a "simple, inexpensive and rapid
measure to immediately confirm smoking status in field settings."
Results from a third favorable study of NicAlert(TM) were
presented at the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco 9th
Annual meeting in New Orleans in February 2003. This trial was
undertaken at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond,
Virginia, where the lead investigator was Dr. Thomas Eissenberg.
In that study the NicAlert(TM) was tested in individuals who were
at various stages of smoking abstinence. The NicAlert(TM) was
shown to reliably detect the progressive lowering of tobacco
exposure during the tobacco abstinence. NicAlert(TM) was used in
a nationwide stop-smoking campaign jointly run by the Swiss
Federal Office of Public Health, the Swiss Association for
Smoking Prevention, the Swiss League Against Cancer and the Swiss
Lung Association. The test is currently being used in large
studies at the Lung-Center Hirslanden in Zurich, Switzerland, and
in many large U.S. centers. NicAlert(TM) was also recently
successfully used in Switzerland in high school students in an
awareness campaign in Basel.