Current Cardiovascular Risk Reports

, Volume 6, Issue 6, pp 534–541

Very Low Nicotine Content Cigarettes and Potential Consequences on Cardiovascular Disease


  • Danielle L. Joel
    • Department of PsychologyUniversity of Pittsburgh
  • Rachel L. Denlinger
    • Departments of Psychology & Behavioral Community Health SciencesUniversity of Pittsburgh
  • Sarah S. Dermody
    • Department of PsychologyUniversity of Pittsburgh
  • Dorothy K. Hatsukami
    • Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Minnesota
  • Neal L. Benowitz
    • Departments of Medicine and Bioengineering & Therapeutic Sciences, Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Experimental TherapeuticsUniversity of California San Francisco
    • Departments of Psychology & PsychiatryUniversity of Pittsburgh
Tobacco Use and Lifestyle (HA Tindle, Section Editor)

DOI: 10.1007/s12170-012-0266-9

Cite this article as:
Joel, D.L., Denlinger, R.L., Dermody, S.S. et al. Curr Cardiovasc Risk Rep (2012) 6: 534. doi:10.1007/s12170-012-0266-9


Cigarette smoking remains highly prevalent in the U.S. and contributes significantly to cardiovascular disease (CVD). Tobacco control policies, including product regulation, can reduce smoking-related harm. One approach being considered in the U.S. is for the FDA to set a low nicotine standard for cigarettes. Such a standard could result in multiple beneficial outcomes including reduced cardiovascular toxicity related to nicotine, reduced smoking intensity in current smokers, increased cessation rates, decreased development of smoking dependence in youth, and decreased passive smoke exposure. Consequently, CVD risk in the U.S. could be dramatically improved by nicotine reduction in cigarettes. Possible pathways linking nicotine reduction in cigarettes to decreased CVD risk are discussed, while potential unintended consequences that could offset expected gains are also presented. Gaps in the literature, including limited data on CVD biomarkers and long-term CVD outcomes following the use of very low nicotine cigarettes, are discussed to highlight areas for new research.


SmokingCigaretteNicotineCardiovascular diseaseTobacco policyNicotine reduction

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012