FILE – This Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015 file photo shows an ashtray with cigarette butts outside the Oklahoma County Courthouse in Oklahoma City. Researchers found that smokers who switched to special low-nicotine ones wound up smoking less and were more likely to try to quit, according to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
By MARILYNN MARCHIONE, AP Chief Medical Writer
A new study might help the push for regulations to limit nicotine in cigarettes. Researchers found that smokers who switched to special low-nicotine ones wound up smoking less and were more likely to try to quit.
The study only lasted six weeks, but is the first large test to show that slashing nicotine, perhaps below an addiction threshold, is safe and leads to less smoking. Some researchers say this gives support for the Food and Drug Administration to use the power it was given in 2009 to mandate lower nicotine levels.
In the study, about 800 people were assigned to smoke their regular brand or one of several experimental types the government made with low nicotine.
The New England Journal of Medicine published the results Wednesday.
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