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Scientists Caution Clinton Administration About Nicotine Regulation


August 1997

A group of independent scientists recently urged the Clinton Administration to be cautious with nicotine regulations that lower nicotine levels in cigarettes. They stressed that if nicotine levels were lowered too greatly it might cause an increase in cigarette consumption and cause smokers to inhale more deeply, thus increasing the risk of heart disease, cancer, and other smoking-related illnesses. The scientists urged the administration to make it easier to obtain nicotine in less-damaging ways than smoking. "Cigarettes are the most deadly form of nicotine delivery ever developed," according to Kenneth E. Warner, professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health who met with the Clinton Administration (Henry Weinstein, "Scientists Warn Against Rapid Reduction of Nicotine Levels," Los Angeles Times (Washington Edition), July 24, 1997, p. B5).

Jack Henningfield, PhD, a consultant with Pinney Associates in Bethesda, Maryland, who also met with the Administration, told NewsBriefs the Food and Drug Adminstration should not be restricted from regulating nicotine, and the mandated elimination of nicotine from cigarettes "should be explored." If nicotine was eliminated, Henningfield said, he is certain that "cigarette use would drastically decline." But a major barrier to nicotine reduction in cigarettes, according to Henningfield, is "the relative lack of competitive forms of nicotine delivery."

Jack Henningfield, PhD - Pinney Associates, Tel: (301) 718-8440.