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
  • Rachel L. Denlinger
  • Sarah S. Dermody
  • Dorothy K. Hatsukami
  • Neal L. Benowitz
  • Eric C. Donny
Tobacco Use and Lifestyle (HA Tindle, Section Editor)


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.


Smoking Cigarette Nicotine Cardiovascular disease Tobacco policy Nicotine reduction 


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Danielle L. Joel
    • 1
  • Rachel L. Denlinger
    • 2
  • Sarah S. Dermody
    • 3
  • Dorothy K. Hatsukami
    • 4
  • Neal L. Benowitz
    • 5
  • Eric C. Donny
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Psychology & Behavioral Community Health SciencesUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  4. 4.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  5. 5.Departments of Medicine and Bioengineering & Therapeutic Sciences, Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Experimental TherapeuticsUniversity of California San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA
  6. 6.Departments of Psychology & PsychiatryUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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