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Low nicotine cigarettes could help achieve Smokefree goal

Low nicotine cigarettes could help achieve Smokefree goal

University of Auckland - 25 October 2016

Nicotine reduction, such as very low nicotine cigarettes, has huge benefits and few potential harms, according to a new study from the University of Auckland.

“Cigarette smoking continues to devastate the health and lives of smokers resulting in an urgent need to reduce smoking rates in New Zealand and many other regions of the world,” says study co-author, Professor Chris Bullen who is director of the University’s National Institute for Health Innovation.

“One way to reduce smoking is to make it less addictive by greatly reducing how much nicotine is in the tobacco people smoke,” says Professor Bullen

Researchers from the University of Auckland and Universities of Pittsburgh and Minnesota in the USA, showed that reducing the nicotine content of cigarettes has the potential to produce huge benefits with minimal harm.

“The public health impact could be enormous and help New Zealand attain its Smokefree 2025 goal,” according to the study in the leading journal Tobacco Control.

The research will be presented tomorrow (26th October) in Wellington at the Smokefree 2025 Research Symposium hosted by ASPIRE 2025 (Otago University) and the National Institute for Health Innovation (University of Auckland).

“The goal is to enable current smokers to stop smoking and prevent youth from being dependent on cigarettes” says Professor Bullen. “The approach aims to break the link between nicotine addiction and the use burned tobacco which results in such harmful effects on health.”

Professor Bullen says that use of cigarettes with very low nicotine content by current smokers has many potential benefits, from decreasing overall nicotine intake, decreasing cigarette dependence and the number of cigarettes smoked per day and increasing the likelihood of making and succeeding with a quit attempt.

“Concerns that people smoke these cigarettes more intensively are not supported by the research evidence” says Professor Bullen.

The researchers argue that the magnitude of the potential benefits and the growing evidence of relatively few potential harms should make nicotine reduction a centrepiece for discussion in New Zealand.

Link to paper;
http://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/early/2016/09/26/tobaccocontrol-2016-053186.full.pdf+html

ends

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