22 Oct 2013

Low nicotine cigarettes 'help smokers quit'

1:26 pm on 22 October 2013

The Government is being urged to regulate cigarettes so only those with very low levels of nicotine are sold.

Researchers are getting ready to present their findings at the Oceania Tobacco Control Conference which begins on Wednesday.

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Photo: PHOTO NZ

One study was based on a small trial in and around Queenstown with cigarettes which had very low nicotine levels.

The trial was funded by the Centre for Tobacco Control Research whose director, Marewa Glover, says people will stop smoking more quickly if cigarettes are regulated to have nicotine below addictive levels.

"Sure, people will find high nicotine cigarettes themselves, they may grow their own tobacco, they may import from overseas.

"The bulk of people who want to quit smoking anyway will wean off, and we will get to a smoke-free 2025."

Ms Glover says the study helps progress debates about smoking toward forming policies.