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U.S. Adults’ Attitudes Toward Lowering Nicotine Levels in Cigarettes

  • Fatma Romeh M. Ali
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence to: Fatma Romeh M. Ali, PhD, Office on Smoking and Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Highway, S107-7, Atlanta GA 30341.
    Affiliations
    Office on Smoking and Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia
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  • Maeh Al-Shawaf
    Affiliations
    Office on Smoking and Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia
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  • Teresa W. Wang
    Affiliations
    Office on Smoking and Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia
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  • Brian A. King
    Affiliations
    Office on Smoking and Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia
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      Introduction

      This study assessed U.S. adults’ attitudes toward lowering the nicotine levels in cigarettes to make them less addictive.

      Methods

      Data from the 2018 SummerStyles, a web-based panel survey of U.S. adults aged ≥18 years (n=4,037) fielded in June–July, were analyzed in 2018. Respondents were asked: Do you favor or oppose requiring cigarette makers to lower the nicotine levels in cigarettes so that they are less addictive? Responses were strongly favor, somewhat favor, somewhat oppose, and strongly oppose. Sociodemographic correlates of favorability (strongly favor or somewhat favor) were assessed using multivariable Poisson regression.

      Results

      Eighty-one percent of adults in 2018 strongly or somewhat favored requiring cigarette makers to lower the nicotine levels in cigarettes to make them less addictive, including 80.6% of current cigarette smokers, 84.3% of former smokers, and 81.3% of never smokers. Favorability was 71.5% among current noncigarette tobacco product users and 81.9% among nonusers. Following adjustment, slight variations in favorability existed by sex, age, race/ethnicity, and other tobacco product use.

      Conclusions

      Most adults favor requiring cigarette makers to lower the nicotine levels in cigarettes, including 8 in 10 current cigarette smokers. These findings can help inform the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's recent proposal to pursue a nicotine reduction standard for cigarettes.
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