High Nicotine to Reduce Cigarette Consumption or Low Nicotine to Reduce Cigarette Consumption?

When FDA Commissioner von Eschenbach argued against FDA regulation of the tobacco industry earlier this year, he commented that lowering the nicotine content in cigarettes may be precisely the wrong step to take since doing so would require smokers to smoke more cigarettes to get the same nicotine dose. According to the TMA (www.tma.org), we are now seeing a study from Professor Neal Benowitz of the University of California in San Francisco released in November stating that lowering nicotine content in cigarettes “can make it easier for long-time smokers to cut down on their consumption.” So which is it?

   

8 comments ↓

#1 cigguy on 11.15.07 at 9:00 AM

I really think that folks need to be told the truth about Nicotine. I think there is evidence that nicotine may have a medicinal effect. I read somewhere that it is being tested on folks with Parkinson’s and showing promise. Isn’t it the lighting up of tobacco that presents the problem???

#2 MST on 11.15.07 at 3:45 PM

Totally on cigguy. Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s both benefit from nicotine. The question is how does the body ingest it, so it does the least damage and clearly smoke ain’t the best way. So tobacco leaf has a longer life than smoking products, or one would think, except that smoking tastes so damn good that most smokers just won’t give it up. Like David Sweanor said at the TMA Williamsburg conference in 2006: “It’s the Smoke, Stupid.” So where does this take us?

#3 apalled & angry smoker on 11.23.07 at 10:11 AM

If you have less nicotine in my cigarette and I want nicotine won’t this only make me smoke more cigs to get my satisfaction? And MST your right I want to smoke. I get so tired of people telling me to quit. I don’t want to quit. I like smoking.

#4 John Rolfe on 11.23.07 at 12:49 PM

As a regular smoker Appalled you have an established nicotine requirement, though this is probably not your only reason for smoking, their may be behavioral and other components. Benowitz writes in his study that lowering nicotine levels would reduce the addictiveness of cigarettes for those first time smokers. Clearly those who have a higher dose-response requirement need to be distinguished from those at a different point on this curve. I can imagine a time where some very high nicotine cigarettes might be prescribed for habitual smokers leaving lower nicotine products on the market to reduce the ease of addiction by new smokers.

#5 Patriot on 02.21.08 at 1:28 AM

Why doesn’t someone tell the surgeon general that nicotine is not the culprit and encourage new ideas. I saw the other day where someone has actually introduced a film based smokeless product. Sounds like a neat idea. Anyone have any details on this?

#6 TAZ on 04.06.08 at 12:59 PM

The film based tobacco strip is made by Fuisz tobacco. I believe the product is similar to a Listerine strip. It comes in a cherry flavored strip that dissolves. The folks who have made this have experience in the pharmaceutical industry.

#7 Johnie Jay on 05.23.08 at 12:59 AM

Anyone know where you can get the tobacco strip? I’d like to try it.

If you reduce the nicotine in the product I would think one would smoke more cigarettes and therefore expose them selve to more smoke.

#8 John Rolfe on 05.23.08 at 8:34 AM

Fuisz Tobacco is the maker. Here is a recent press release from them:

Fuisz Tobacco Announces Clinical Study Results for Fuisz Tobacco Sheet Strip; Super Enhanced Bioavailability of Nicotine From Its Tobacco Sheet Strip Supports Efficacy of Low Dose Tobacco Product

WASHINGTON, May 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Fuisz Tobacco today
announces the results of a cross-over clinical study comparing the
absorption of nicotine from the use of Fuisz Tobacco’s dissolving tobacco
strip and the use of a nicotine 2mg chewing gum — the study’s control.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080115/CLTU066 )

The results demonstrate extraordinary nicotine bioavailability for the
Fuisz Tobacco strip. A Fuisz Tobacco strip containing 75 mg’s of tobacco
delivered substantially higher peak nicotine plasma concentration than the
2 mg nicotine chewing gum control product. This suggests that the Fuisz
Tobacco strip delivers nicotine more than five times more effectively than
the SNUS tobacco format, which is considered to represent the most
efficacious smokeless tobacco format for nicotine delivery currently
available.

The study design was based upon the Lunell study of Swedish SNUS
nicotine absorption. The Lunell study is part of the so called Gothiatek(R)
standards developed by leading SNUS marketer Swedish Match.

Joseph Fuisz, Fuisz Tobacco’s Managing Member commented: “These study
results represent a remarkable advance for smokeless tobacco. By delivering
tobacco satisfaction from a dramatically smaller amount of tobacco, we can
substantially lower the amount of tobacco used in the adult consumer
friendly Fuisz Tobacco strip. This news should be welcomed by the harm
reduction community, the tobacco industry, and adult smokers alike.”

Fuisz Tobacco’s Founding Member, Richard Fuisz, M.D., stated: “We have
a new concept here. The Fuisz Tobacco strip is not a cigarette and yet the
user gets nicotine from its tobacco. This is not a pouch that does not
efficiently transfer nicotine and then must be removed from the mouth and
is environmentally as damaging as a cigarette. This gives off no smoke and
is unaffected by smoking bans. This is not an ill tasting lozenge. This is
in fact the new way for adult tobacco users to gain satisfaction in a
simple straightforward manner. Easier to use than SNUS, a small strip is
simply placed in the cheek and allowed to dissolve.”

Joseph Fuisz, continued: “It is important to understand that the Fuisz
Tobacco strip’s super bioavailability is used to lower the amount of
tobacco contained in our smokeless product, and not to develop ever-higher
nicotine plasma concentrations. The Fuisz tobacco strip offers not only
excellent tobacco satisfaction but is a great tasting product that appeals
greatly to the vast majority of adult smokers, most of whom are not
inclined to use existing smokeless tobacco products.”

The clinical study was performed by an independent contract research
organization that serves the pharmaceutical industry.

The Fuisz Tobacco smokeless tobacco product is a tobacco containing
sheet, similar in appearance to a Listerine(R) PocketPak(R) breath strip
but substantially thicker and taking longer to dissolve. The Fuisz Tobacco
strip is spitless and dissolves entirely in the cheek. This means that the
product can be discretely consumed in a social setting without residue to
remove from the mouth after use — unlike traditional smokeless tobacco
products. Fuisz Tobacco’s tobacco strip technology is protected by multiple
patents pending and licenses.

Fuisz Tobacco is a private company. Its founding partner, Richard C.
Fuisz, M.D., is a noted pharmaceutical inventor, including in the thin film
drug delivery, quick dissolve tablet, taste masking and controlled release
fields (http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Fuisz). Fuisz Tobacco’s
managing partner, Joseph Fuisz, is a corporate lawyer and is a named
inventor on over forty thin film drug delivery patents issued and pending.
Mr. Fuisz previously served as Senior Vice President for Business
Development of MonoSol Rx (http://www.monosolrx.com). He is a graduate of Yale
College and the Columbia Law School.

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