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a reduction of nicotine dependence would be expected to facilitate quitting. This approach is discussed in more detail in Chapter 7.

Another proposed approach to making tobacco products less addictive includes removing flavorants and additives that enhance the sensory characteristics of cigarettes, as sensory characteristics are thought to contribute to the reinforcing qualities and the addictiveness of cigarettes.

Increasing Medicinal Nicotine Alternatives

Another way to deal with potential compensation would be to make medicinal nicotine more readily available. Currently, nicotine-containing medications are available both over the counter and by prescription, but they tend to be more expensive than cigarettes and are more difficult to obtain. With the ready availability of nicotine-containing medications, smokers could obtain supplemental nicotine to compensate for reduced nicotine intake from low-nicotine–content cigarettes (Henningfield et al. 1998). After complete smoking cessation, the nicotine dose in the medication could be tapered down over time to finally eliminate all dependence on the drug.

The Proposed Tobacco Control Legislation Provisions for FDA Product Regulation

The proposed Tobacco Control legislation would give the FDA authority to “restrict the sale and distribution of a tobacco product if the Secretary determines that such regulation would be appropriate for the protection of the public health.” This broad authority is limited only in the following ways: the FDA (1) may not prohibit the sale of tobacco products altogether, (2) may not require a prescription for tobacco products, (3) may not adopt a minimum purchase age higher than 18 years, and (4) may not ban any particular category of retail outlet from selling tobacco products. As general principles guiding FDA authority, decisions would be based on sound science; the goals would be both to reduce consumption and to reduce the mortality and morbidity caused by tobacco use, and the FDA efforts are expected to complement (and not replace) proven prevention and cessation efforts. The proposed Tobacco Control legislation provisions for FDA product regulation has the key elements described in the following sections.


The bill would require tobacco companies to disclose to the FDA all chemical compounds found in both their tobacco products and the products’ smoke, whether these compounds are added or occur naturally, by quantity. Tobacco companies would be required to disclose the content

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