Many want cutting nicotine in cigarettes

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Almost 50% of U.S. adult people claim that they back the idea of a federal mandate to minimize nicotine levels, scientists state.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has power under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009 to minimize nicotine in cigarettes, but not to zero. The FDA has not yet acted on this authority.

“The reduction of nicotine could be a guaranteeing method to protect the society from the problems caused by smoking,” lead author Jennifer Pearson, study researcher for the Schroeder Institute, said.

The study provides nationally representative details from a June 2010 study that identified 46.7% of U.S. adults said the FDA should minimize cigarette nicotine levels, which might make smoking cessation easier.

16% stated that the FDA should not modify levels of nicotine in cigarettes and 37.8% abstained from getting their opinion.

Smokers who were thinking about quitting smoking were more probably to back a rule than smokers who are not thinking of stopping smoking. African-Americans, Hispanics and those with lower education levels were especially supportive of nicotine reduction, Pearson said.

“These facts could be useful to FDA in gauging public sentiment and developing its messaging if the agency prefers to advance such rule,” Pearson said.

The Schroeder Institute has formal academic links with The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Georgetown University’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. The Legacy Foundation was produced due to the November 1998 Master Settlement Agreement between 46 states and the tobacco industry.

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