Low nicotine cigarettes are the key to getting more people to quit smoking and reducing dependency, a new study shows. Smoking is the largest cause of heart complications and cancer. Low nicotine cigarettes can save millions of smokers around the globe from future health complications.
A study conducted by University of California officials revealed that low nicotine levels in cigarettes was the key in reducing dependency on the dangerous drug. The study took 800 smokers who smoked five or more cigarettes a day and were not interested in quitting when initially surveyed. Some participants were assigned to continue smoking their usual cigarettes. The others smoked cigarettes ranging from 0.4 milligrams of nicotine to 15.8 milligrams of nicotine per gram, the same level found in most cigarettes.
According to the University of Pittsburgh study leader Dr. Eric Donny, “We wanted to see how much lower it would need to be to see that effect, where dependence did not happen or was diminished.”
The cigarettes were provided for free and no one, except those assigned who were assigned to smoke their regular cigarettes, was informed of the levels of nicotine in their cigarettes.
The study revealed that though the low-nicotine smokers were more likely to smoke some extra cigarettes in addition to the ones given in the study, the overall number of both cigarettes and nicotine levels were lower in those groups. In the last week of the study, low nicotine users were found to only smoke 15 or 16 cigarettes a day, while their high nicotine counterparts smoked up to 22 a day.
Upon standardized testing, the low nicotine users even showed less dependence on nicotine as opposed to the high nicotine folk. In the month following the experiment, up to 35 percent of the low nicotine smokers tried quitting as opposed to only 17 percent in the other test group.
Another study leader Dr. Neal Benowitz, University of California, said of the connection between low nicotine and lesser dependency, “This, I think, provides support. What our study shows is that it’s feasible.”
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was given power in 2009 to authorize lower nicotine levels in cigarettes. It has yet to exercise such authority.
The study goes to show that nicotine can be reduced to bring down dependency by smokers. The FDA should act fast to regulate nicotine levels in cigarettes so as to combat high smoking numbers.