Many Americans Support Lower Nicotine Levels in Cigarettes

MONDAY, Feb. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Most American adults support reducing nicotine in cigarettes to prevent people, especially children, from becoming addicted to smoking, a new study finds.

Researchers surveyed 511 nonsmokers and 510 smokers aged 18 and older and found that, overall, two-thirds supported reducing nicotine levels in cigarettes to nonaddictive levels.

The study also found that 77 percent (81 percent of nonsmokers and 74 percent of smokers) would support lowering the amount of nicotine in cigarettes to nonaddictive levels if doing so would reduce the number of children who became addicted to cigarettes.

A ban on cigarettes was supported by 43 percent of the respondents, including 55 percent of nonsmokers and 33 percent of smokers, according to study author Gregory Connolly, director of the Center for Global Tobacco Control at the Harvard School of Public Health, and colleagues.

The study was published online Feb. 16 in the American Journal of Public Health.

Cigarettes contribute to the premature deaths of more than 400,000 people in the United States each year, and more than 3,800 youths begin smoking every day, according to a Harvard news release.

-- Robert Preidt

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SOURCE: Harvard School of Public Health, news release, Feb. 16, 2012