Cigarette smoking remains highly prevalent in the U. S. and contributes significantly to cardiovascular disease (CVD). Tobacco control policies, including product regulation, can reduce smoking-related harm. One approach being considered in the U. S. is for the FDA to set a low nicotine standard for cigarettes. Such a standard could result in multiple beneficial outcomes including reduced cardiovascular toxicity related to nicotine, reduced smoking intensity in current smokers, increased cessation rates, decreased development of smoking dependence in youth, and decreased passive smoke exposure. Consequently, CVD risk in the U. S. could be dramatically improved by nicotine reduction in cigarettes. Possible pathways linking nicotine reduction in cigarettes to decreased CVD risk are discussed, while potential unintended consequences that could offset expected gains are also presented. Gaps in the literature, including limited data on CVD biomarkers and long-term CVD outcomes following the use of very low nicotine cigarettes, are discussed to highlight areas for new research.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding This work was supported by grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, DA02277 and U54 DA031659.
- Cardiovascular disease
- Nicotine reduction
- Tobacco policy