In a positive development, a new study has found that smokers who consumed cigarettes with very low nicotine levels didn’t show any change in their smoking pattern, suggesting that such cigarettes may cub addiction without allowing high exposure to toxic chemicals.
The study was conducted by the researchers at the University of Waterloo.
For the study, the researchers involved 72 adults and monitored their smoking behaviour when they switched to three types of cigarettes with different and gradually reduced nicotine levels. The cigarettes used by the researchers for the study inlcude Quest 1, Quest 2 and Quest 3 with nicotine content of 8.9, 8.4 and 0.6 mg respectively. Regular cigarettes contain an average of 12 mg nicotine content.
While observing the participants, the researchers came across a unique finding. As the smokers remain unaffected in their smoking behavior while switching between conventional cigarette brands (having almost similar nicotine levels), the researchers said they found similar results in the case of smoking cigarettes with reduced nicotine content.
Researchers say there was no change in the number of cigarettes consumed, the puffing behavior of the participants or toxic chemical levels in their body.
The landmark findings have laid the path for the governments to think about bringing cigarettes with low to negligible amounts of nicotine levels. Quest cigarettes were the only cigarettes (during the period of study) that were commercially available in the global markets with significantly reduced levels of nicotine.
Lead study author David Hammond said, “One of the primary barriers to reducing nicotine levels is the belief that individuals who continue to smoke will smoke more cigarettes in an effort to extract the same nicotine levels, thereby exposing themselves to greater amounts of toxic chemicals. Our findings suggest this is not the case.
“The smokers were unable or unwilling to compensate when there was markedly less nicotine in the cigarette and when the experience of smoking is far less rewarding,” added, Hammond, who is also a professor of the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences at Waterloo.
The findings of study were published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology.
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