New York, Oct 1 (IANS) Reducing the amount of nicotine in cigarettes can not only curtail cigarette use but also cravings when smokers decide to abstain, a promising study has revealed.
In the study that lasted one year and included 840 participants, Eric Donny from University of Pittsburgh and collaborators found that nicotine content is a significant determinant of cigarette use and dependence.
The clinical trial had participants smoke for six weeks – either their usual brand or one of six investigational cigarettes – that varied in nicotine content from 15.8 mg per gram tobacco (typical of commercial brands) to 0.4 mg per gram.
When smoking levels were examined at six weeks, the average number of cigarettes smoked per day was lower for participants randomised to 2.4, 1.3, and 0.4 mg per gram cigarettes than participants randomised to usual brand and 15.8 mg per gram.
“Reduced nicotine content cigarettes reduced exposure to nicotine, nicotine dependence, and craving when participants were abstinent from cigarettes,” said Donny.
The same results apply for so called “light” cigarettes that use the same tobacco with the same nicotine content.
The difference is that “lights” manufacturers use a different filter, more porous paper, and/or punch tiny holes in the paper.
“People, unwittingly most often, get around that by puffing extra hard or covering the holes with their fingers and they can end up getting the same amount of nicotine,” Donny explained.
“With these [investigational] cigarettes, there is much less nicotine in the tobacco itself,” he noted.
The paper was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.