Low-Nicotine Cigarettes Won’t Leave Smokers Agitated, Study Finds

By Steven Renberg

Health Day Reporter

FRIDAY, Nov. 4, 2022 (HealthDay News) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has proposed limiting the amount of nicotine in cigarettes to minimally addictive levels, but there are concerns that nicotine A deficiency may increase anxiety in people who already smoke. Battle mode issues.

However, a new study shows that when cigarettes with nicotine at 5% of the normal dose can do Help anxious or depressed smokers quit, without adding to the mood or anxiety problems that caused them to smoke in the first place.

“There do not appear to be any unintended or unintended consequences of switching to very low nicotine cigarettes,” said lead researcher Jonathan Folds, professor of public health sciences and psychiatry at Penn State University School of Medicine.

“On the contrary, it appears that the result is that smokers feel more addicted to their cigarettes and are more able to quit smoking when they receive a follow-up appointment plus a relatively short period of nicotine replacement therapy. Help is offered,” he said.

Smokers with mood and anxiety disorders showed no signs of “smoking more” in very low-nicotine cigarettes, nor was there any sign that switching to them helped them, Foulds said. Mental health deteriorates.

The US Food and Drug Administration recommends limiting the amount of nicotine in cigarettes to minimally addictive levels. Doing so can not only reduce addiction, Folds said, but also reduce exposure to toxins and increase the odds of quitting.

In 2019, the FDA ordered 22nd Century Group Inc. allowed two lower nicotine cigarettes made by – Moonlight and Moonlight Menthol. Folds said these brands are in market testing and not generally available.

“It would be appropriate to proceed with implementing such a regulation as soon as possible to protect public health,” he said. “It’s been more than 50 years since it became clear that cigarettes are deadly and addictive when used as intended. It’s time to reduce the addictive part of cigarettes. Steps should be taken to reduce it.”

Dr. Panagis Galiatsatos, assistant professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and volunteer medical spokesperson for the American Lung Association, echoed that view.

“Reducing the amount of nicotine in cigarettes has been a public health strategy that we’ve tried for the past two decades,” said Galiatsatos, who was part of the study. “Nicotine is why people keep going back to cigarettes, knowing that there are toxins in there, knowing that these carcinogens are in there, not because they want to create serious health conditions for themselves. are.”

For the study, Folds and his colleagues studied 188 smokers who had mood or anxiety disorders and did not want to quit. They were randomly assigned to smoke cigarettes with normal amounts of nicotine or those with reduced amounts of nicotine in phases over 18 weeks.

During that time, the researchers found no significant difference in mental health between the two groups. And people who were given low-nicotine cigarettes were more likely to quit than those who smoked normal amounts of nicotine — 18% vs. 4%.

“It’s important to study people with mental health problems, because they make up about 25 percent of the population but 40 percent of smokers in the U.S.,” said Dr. Pamela Ling, director of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education. University of California, San Francisco, who reviewed the results.

He noted that people with mental health conditions die earlier than the general population, often from smoking-related disease.

Ling said it’s time for low-nicotine cigarettes to be the only cigarettes available.

“This study should address concerns that low-nicotine cigarettes may worsen symptoms in people with mental health disorders,” Ling said. “The time has come for the FDA to take action to reduce nicotine in cigarettes to minimum levels. This study suggests that such action will help smoking cessation, including mental health. Circumstances.”

Ultimately, Galiatsatos said, politics, not health concerns, will decide whether low-nicotine cigarettes will replace today’s cigarettes.

“If it was just a war over broccoli, we would have won,” he said. “It’s not. It makes a lot of money for a lot of people. But from a clinician’s perspective, we take advantage of these opportunities to implement appropriate clinical guidelines to make these patients nonsmokers. should be taken.”

The study was published online Nov. 2 in the journal Plus one.

More information

For more information on how to quit smoking, visit US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Sources: Jonathan Folds, PhD, Professor, Public Health Sciences and Psychiatry, Penn State University, Hershey; Panagis Galiatsatos, MD, volunteer medical spokesperson, American Lung Association, and assistant professor, medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore; Pamela Ling, MD, MPH, Director, Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, University of California, San Francisco; Plus oneNovember 2, 2022, online

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