Researchers call on Government to cut nicotine content of cigarettes sold in New Zealand

23 October 2013

23 October 2013

Supported by the results of a world-first New Zealand study, tobacco control researchers are calling on the Government to only allow cigarettes with very low nicotine content to be sold in the country. Results from a 12 week randomised controlled trial, conducted by a multi-institutional team led by the National Institute for Health Innovation (NIHI) at the University of Auckland, provided strong evidence that low nicotine content cigarettes lower levels of tobacco addiction and help people to quit smoking.

According to Dr Natalie Walker, addiction research programme leader at NIHI and Associate Director, Centre for Addiction Research, findings from the study show that switching from regular to very low nicotine content cigarettes result in people becoming less addicted, making it easier for them to quit smoking.

“Therefore, we believe limiting the nicotine content of all cigarettes sold in New Zealand will help the Government achieve its goal of a smokefree New Zealand by 2025,” she says. “Regulations that would permit the sale of only very low nicotine content cigarettes in New Zealand would be very effective in reducing the prevalence of smoking and tobacco addiction.”

Associate Professor Chris Bullen and Dr Marewa Glover, co-directors of the New Zealand Tobacco Control Tūranga were also involved in the study. Both are members of the Centre for Addiction Research.

Read more in the NIHI media release on the ENRIQ Nicotine Reduction Study

Read the NZHerald article about the study, 'Trial run finds pluses in cheap, low-nicotine cigs'