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Eliminating the nicotine in cigarettes

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Editor,—The report of the American Medical Association (AMA), “Reducing the addictiveness of cigarettes”, was written by well respected tobacco experts.1 This time, however, the position taken by the AMA and the British Medical Association (BMA) did not reassure us and the AMA position is even inconsistent with statements of two of the authors made two months earlier. In John Slade’s and Jack Henningfield’s paper presented in Washington, DC on 8–9 April 1998, they said: “Nicotine reduction is an option that should kept be open and carefully explored because of its potential for public health benefit. It is far from being a perfect policy option, however, and . . . there are many other useful things the FDA should do in regulating tobacco products without ever controlling or limiting nicotine itself.” In fact, both authors listed a whole range of concerns that needed to be explored, and concluded that much more research should be conducted before any nicotine reduction strategy is considered for implementation.2 Only two months later, the AMA adopted its resolution to phase out nicotine and provided answers for some of the concerns raised, such as …

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