Low-Nicotine Cigs Can Help to Stop Smoking
The interval between smoking low-nicotine cigarettes doesn’t increase
Cigarette smokers may start getting rid of nicotine addiction by switching to low-nicotine cigarettes, without smoking more cigarettes than they regularly do, a study showed.
During a study of 135 adult smokers, aged between 18 and 70, those who opted for cigarettes which contained low amounts of nicotine, did not need to compensate lower nicotine intake by consuming more cigarettes.
“The goal is to lower smokers’ nicotine consumption, in order to help them get used to the reduced levels, and ultimately reach the point when smoking does not bring pleasure any longer,” confirmed leader of the research, Neal Benowitz, a scientist at the UCSF.
The latest findings are significantly different to those received in researches carried out in the years by Benowitz and other nicotine researchers, featuring preceding generations of low-nicotine cigarettes.
UCSF has been a long time leader in analyzing strategies for smoking prevention and cessation, disclosing marketing campaigns of tobacco companies, developing anti-smoking public health initiatives and performing research intended for better perception of addiction to tobacco products. In addition, UCSF owns Tobacco Control Archives – set of materials and legal documents related to tobacco usage.
FDA Might Limit Nicotine Amount in Cigarettes
Under the 2009 Tobacco Control Act the U.S. Food and Drug Administration was legally empowered to regulate tobacco products, including restricting the amount of nicotine in cigarettes, selling across the country, however, the agency has not turned to considering this move yet.
Neal Benowitz, who also serves as a member of Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee, established by the FDA, said they hesitate to act in this direction since there is not enough scientific evidence to prove their viewpoint.
Nevertheless, the new landmark research by Benowitz and his colleagues have given rise to hopes that a next generation of low-nicotine cigarettes might help current smokers give up their habit and prevent addiction to nicotine in adolescents who experiment with tobacco.
Food and Drug Administration together with the National Institutes of Health has invested in further research in order to investigate the strategy.
Smokers’ consumption of nicotine progressively lowered when the amount of nicotine in the cigarettes was decreased, the research team led by Benowitz concluded in their analysis of the research data. The findings were published online in the February issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention journal. The scientists estimated the rate of cotinine, a chemical byproduct, found in the blood, used as an indicator of nicotine consumption.
Although the participants of the study consumed fewer amount of nicotine, their exposure to tar and cancer causing chemicals, found in tobacco smoke, including carbon monoxide, and cigarette consumption was not changed.
“Lowering the amount of nicotine intake by using low-nicotine cigarettes was not harmful or dangerous to smokers, since evidence showed that it doesn’t led to increase in number of cigarettes smoked daily and thus, to increased exposure to environmental tobacco smoke,” Benowitz stated.