Nicotine Reduction: Strategic Research Plan
ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Reducing nicotine content in cigarettes and other combustible products to levels that are not reinforcing or addictive has the potential to substantially reduce tobacco-related morbidity and mortality. The authority to reduce nicotine levels as a regulatory measure is provided in the U.S. Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act and is consistent with the general regulatory powers envisioned under the relevant articles of the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Many experts have considered reducing nicotine in cigarettes to be a feasible national policy approach, but more research is necessary.Purpose:This article describes proceedings from a conference that had the goals of identifying specific research gaps, describing methods and measures to consider for addressing these gaps, and considering ways to foster collaboration.Results and Conclusion:Identified research gaps included determining the dose of nicotine that would be optimal for reducing and extinguishing cigarette use, examining approaches for reducing nicotine levels in the general and special populations of smokers, understanding how constituents other than nicotine may contribute to the reinforcing effects of tobacco, and identifying unintended consequences to determine ways to mitigate them. Methods that can be used ranged from brain imaging to large human clinical trials. The development and availability of valid biomarkers of exposure and effect are important. Infrastructures to facilitate collaboration need to be established.
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ABSTRACT: The FDA is considering reducing the nicotine content in tobacco products as a population-based strategy to reduce tobacco addiction. Research is needed to determine the threshold level of nicotine needed to maintain smoking and the extent of compensatory smoking that could occur during nicotine reduction. Sources of variability in these measures across sub-populations also need to be identified so that policies can take into account the risks and benefits of nicotine reduction in vulnerable populations. The present study examined these issues in a rodent nicotine self-administration model of nicotine reduction policy to characterize individual differences in nicotine reinforcement thresholds, degree of compensation, and elasticity of demand during progressive reduction of the unit nicotine dose. The ability of individual differences in baseline nicotine intake and nicotine pharmacokinetics to predict responses to dose reduction was also examined. Considerable variability in the reinforcement threshold, compensation, and elasticity of demand was evident. High baseline nicotine intake was not correlated with the reinforcement threshold, but predicted less compensation and less elastic demand. Higher nicotine clearance predicted low reinforcement thresholds, greater compensation, and less elastic demand. Less elastic demand also predicted lower reinforcement thresholds. These findings suggest that baseline nicotine intake, nicotine clearance, and the essential value of nicotine (i.e. elasticity of demand) moderate the effects of progressive nicotine reduction in rats and warrant further study in humans. They also suggest that smokers with fast nicotine metabolism may be more vulnerable to the risks of nicotine reduction. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.Drug and alcohol dependence 04/2015; 151. DOI:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.03.030 · 3.28 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Nicotine is highly addictive and is primarily responsible for the maintenance of cigarette smoking. In 1994, Benowitz and Henningfield proposed the idea of federal regulation of the nicotine content of cigarettes such that the nicotine content of cigarettes would be reduced over time, resulting in lower intake of nicotine and a lower level of nicotine dependence. When nicotine levels get very low, cigarettes would be much less addictive. As a result, fewer young people who experiment with cigarettes would become addicted adult smokers and previously addicted smokers would find it easier to quit smoking when they attempt to do so. The regulatory authority to promulgate such a public health strategy was provided by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. Although it precludes 'reducing nicotine to zero', the act does not prohibit the Food and Drug Administration from setting standards for cigarette nicotine content that would prevent them from being capable of causing addiction. This paper reviews the assumptions implicit in a nicotine reduction strategy, examines the available data on the feasibility and safety of nicotine reduction, and discusses the public education, surveillance and support services that would be needed for the implementation of such a policy.Tobacco control 05/2013; 22 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):i14-i17. DOI:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2012-050860 · 5.15 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The US Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act and WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control provide us with powerful tools to reduce the death and disease caused by the use of tobacco products. One tool that can contribute substantially toward this goal is the authority to establish performance standards for tobacco products. Conjointly with reducing levels of nicotine in cigarettes, performance and quality control standards need to be established for non-combusted tobacco products. Performance standards and incentives should be provided so that tobacco companies are compelled to manufacture and market products with very low or almost non-existent toxicity (eg, nicotine-only products).Tobacco control 05/2013; 22 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):i36-i37. DOI:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2012-050785 · 5.15 Impact Factor