Study: Lower Nicotine Reduces Addiction

A recent study shows that lowering nicotine content in cigarettes reduces nicotine addiction in vulnerable populations (those with psychiatric disorders, those suffering with addiction or those with socioeconomic disadvantage).

For 12 weeks, participants were randomly assigned research cigarettes that contained 0.4 mg of nicotine per gram of tobacco, 2.4 mg of nicotine per gram of tobacco or 15.8 mg of nicotine per gram of tobacco. The latter is equivalent to standard cigarettes currently on the market while the two former are considered very low nicotine content.

Daily smoking rate decreased by about 30 percent in those using the very low nicotine cigarettes.

“We know that lower smoking rate and dependence severity are two important predictors of successful smoking cessation should someone attempt to quit,” said Stephen T. Higgins, director of the Vermont Center on Behavior and Health at the University of Vermont’s Larner College of Medicine.

“Our findings in this and earlier studies suggest that lowering the nicotine content in all cigarettes to minimally addictive levels would benefit all smokers, including those most vulnerable to smoking and addiction.”