Correlates of support for a nicotine-reduction policy in smokers with 6-week exposure to very low nicotine cigarettes

Rachel L. Denlinger-Apte, Jennifer W. Tidey, Joseph S. Koopmeiners, Dorothy K. Hatsukami, Tracy T. Smith, Lauren R. Pacek, F. Joseph Mcclernon, Eric C. Donny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background The US Food and Drug Administration recently issued an advanced notice of proposed rule-making for reducing the nicotine content in cigarettes to a minimally addictive level. Very little is known about whether use of very low nicotine content (VLNC) cigarettes affects support for a nicotine reduction policy. Objective This study examined the effects of using VLNC versus usual brand (UB) cigarettes on support for a nicotine reduction policy and determined whether participant characteristics and responses to VLNC cigarettes were associated with policy support. Methods Participants from a cigarette trial who were assigned to either 0.4 mg nicotine/g tobacco research cigarettes or their UB for 6 weeks were asked about their support for the policy. ‡ 2 tests were used to compare support for the policy between cigarette conditions and logistic regression analyses were conducted to assess covariates associated with policy support. Findings Policy support did not differ by condition. After 6 weeks of using VLNC cigarettes, 50% of participants supported the policy, 26% opposed and 24% responded 'Don't Know'. Support was higher among those adherent to smoking only VLNC cigarettes (65%) compared with those who were non-adherent (44%). Older participants and those interested in quitting had increased odds of support. Cigarette satisfaction, perceived harm and perceived nicotine content were not significantly associated with support. Conclusions Smoking VLNC cigarettes did not affect support for a nicotine reduction policy. Understanding predictors of policy support and opposition will help public health officials to maximise the public health acceptance and impact of this policy ( Identifier: NCT01681875 Post-Results).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)352-355
Number of pages4
JournalTobacco control
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2019


  • harm reduction
  • nicotine
  • public policy

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Journal Article
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

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