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Will Lowering Nicotine Levels in Cigarettes Actually Make It Worse for Addicts?

March 27, 2018

Smoke Blowing from Cigarette to Flexed ArmThe United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently juggling the idea of forcing Big Tobacco companies into reducing the nicotine content in cigarettes sold in the country. The FDA’s announcement claims a nicotine level reduction would make it less likely for new smokers to become addicted to the dangerous products. It might even be proposed that cigarette nicotine levels would be lessened to such a degree that nicotine addiction would be all but impossible with regular use.

In order to get a broader idea of its own proposal and the effects it might make on the average smoker, the FDA is currently turning to the public for input. The administration is asking a variety of questions to the public, including whether or not the nicotine decrease should come gradually or be implemented in one grand sweep across Big Tobacco. There is also some concern from the public, medical groups, and rehabilitative communities that reducing nicotine in cigarettes would only make the situation worse for people already addicted to the narcotic.

Potential Problems Caused by Lowering Nicotine Levels

It is well-known among research groups, like Truth and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), that Big Tobacco has intentionally targeted substance abuse and mental health patients with their advertising techniques. Companies that manufacturer cigarettes are aware that people in fragile mental states are more prone to looking for “fixes” through self-destructive, repetitive, or addicted behaviors and actions. Through their advertising practices, they have made loyal customers out of about 15% of the total U.S. population. However, about 36% of people with mental disabilities or psychological distress are regular smokers, underlying the fact that they know how to advertise to this target group.

If the FDA does reduce the amount of nicotine in cigarettes, it could actually end up being a problem for current nicotine addicts. There is the chance of financial harm coming to the addicts, who would need to buy even more cigarettes than usual to sate their addictions. In a strange twist of fate, Big Tobacco could end up making more money because nicotine levels were lowered.

There is also the real possibility that someone with a nicotine addiction would turn to other narcotics if cigarettes became less potent. Addictive habits are not so easily swept aside. People may try to get the same “fix” from deadlier substances, like heroin or opiates.

Turning Point: New Jersey Addiction Treatment

Fighting nicotine addiction will not be as simple as smoking cigarettes with reduced nicotine content. If anything, this may only prolong or worsen an addiction to cigarettes, or even turn smokers towards far more dangerous drugs. If you want to overcome your addiction with confidence and comfort, then you can come to Turning Point, the trusted name in New Jersey addiction treatment centers.

On average, we are able to help more than 3,000 people every year deal with addictions to various substances and find ways to put it behind them. Using innovative and personalized treatment programs, including outpatient treatments and short-term residential programs, we are here to support you through thick and thin. Call 973.380.0905 or contact us online to ask about our drug treatment center and how we can help you overcome nicotine addiction.

Useful References & Resources

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