Public support for mandated nicotine reduction in cigarettes

Am J Public Health. 2013 Mar;103(3):562-7. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2012.300890. Epub 2013 Jan 17.


Objectives: We assessed public support for a potential Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-mandated reduction in cigarette nicotine content.

Methods: We used nationally representative data from a June 2010 cross-sectional survey of US adults (n = 2649) to obtain weighted point estimates and correlates of support for mandated nicotine reduction. We also assessed the potential role of political ideology in support of FDA regulation of nicotine.

Results: Nearly 50% of the public supported mandated cigarette nicotine reduction, with another 28% having no strong opinion concerning this potential FDA regulation. Support for nicotine reduction was highest among Hispanics, African Americans, and those with less than a high school education. Among smokers, the odds of supporting FDA nicotine regulation were 2.77 times higher among smokers who intended to quit in the next 6 months than among those with no plans to quit.

Conclusions: Mandating nicotine reduction in cigarettes to nonaddictive levels may reduce youth initiation and facilitate adult cessation. The reasons behind nicotine regulation need to be communicated to the public to preempt tobacco industry efforts to impede such a regulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Legislation, Drug* / statistics & numerical data
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nicotine / administration & dosage*
  • Nicotine / analysis
  • Public Opinion*
  • Racial Groups / psychology
  • Racial Groups / statistics & numerical data
  • Smoking / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Smoking / psychology
  • Tobacco Products* / analysis
  • United States / epidemiology
  • United States Food and Drug Administration / legislation & jurisprudence


  • Nicotine