Joined: January 16th, 2003, 8:00 am

January 29th, 2003, 9:55 am #11

Thanks Bob. I'll pass along the proof and maybe she'll pay attention and pass it along to others.

John (Gold)
John (Gold)

January 31st, 2003, 6:14 am #12

As best I can tell there are roughly 13 million recovered ex-smokers in NY, NJ, PA, OH, IN, IL and MI.
Dr. Joseph Difranza, is the primary author of the Dandy youth dependency studies whose abstract is linked below. ... t=Abstract I just received the below email in response to my question to him about whether or not .05mg of nicotine is sufficient to induce relapse. In that a few of the above posts are a bit disturbing I hope you'll take the Dr. Difranza's warning to heart ....
"This cigarette is not really nicotine free. In other studies similar cigarettes have produced elevations in heart rate showing that enough nicotine is being absorbed to cause a reaction. I would suspect that this would also cause addiction. If these are being advertised as nicotine free that would be false advertising. I would be very much concerned that smoking these would cause a relapse in ex smokers."

John (Gold)
John (Gold)

August 14th, 2003, 11:34 pm #13

OBob-Gold brought the below follow-up Nicotine-Free Quest story to our attention. Thanks Bob! As Joel predicted, just one pack of almost Nicotine-Free Quest (.05 mg per cigarette) and every nicotine addict the world-over will quickly discover what R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company knew and proclaimed in 1972 ...
"nicotine is the sine qua non of tobacco products" .... "and if we meekly accept the allegations of our critics and move toward reduction or elimination of nicotine from our products, then we shall eventually liquidate out business."
Nicotine - the Sine Qua Non of Smoking

Vector falls as analyst says
some Quest sales weak

Wed August 13, 2003
Link to story:
NEW YORK, Aug 13 (Reuters) - Vector Group Ltd VGR.N shares fell on Wednesday after an analyst said sales of the company's low-nicotine Quest cigarettes appear flat to down.
"Anecdotal comments suggest that Quest's sales seem lackluster, and steady customers are now harder to come by," Jefferies & Co. analyst Donald Trott said in a research note.
Trott, who rates Vector shares at "hold," surveyed 21 stores that sell Quest cigarettes. The cigarettes have been sold in seven states since January.
Shares of Miami-based Vector fell 3.5 percent to $16.55 in morning New York Stock Exchange trade. Other tobacco-related shares were mixed, showing slighter declines or gains.
Quest cigarettes come in three versions, each containing a different amount of nicotine. The product is not intended as a device to help people quit smoking, but is for smokers who want to lower their exposure to nicotine, the addictive substance in tobacco.
Trott's survey included three stores in each of the seven states where Quest is sold.
The study showed sales of Quest consistently declined in 38 percent of the stores surveyed and were essentially flat at 43 percent of them following the initial introductory sales build, Trott said. Only four of the 21 stores reported steadily rising sales of the brand.
Trott said the survey was limited in scope, but could serve as a barometer for the overall consumer response to the product.
Vector owns Liggett Group Inc., Vector Tobacco Inc., and a controlling interest in New Valley Corp. NVAL.O . The company plans to report second-quarter results on Thursday afternoon.
© Reuters 2003 - All Rights Reserved


September 8th, 2003, 6:54 am #14

I saw where Quest cigarettes had another thread started, which was put in the category as advice to Newbies. Basically it is not an issue most of our newbies care about--by the time they join here they know they want to be nicotine and smoke free. I decided just to attach the string here and delete the it from the other location.
From: LakeladyDee (Original Message) Sent: 9/7/2003 9:51 AM
I am green. Denise, just our of the hospital 30 days ago being on prednisone and antiobotic's. I'v been smoke free for 35 days .

My husband has been great since I've quit. He has gone outside to have a cig and is trying to stop himself. He has been using QUEST. He is now on stage 3, the last stage and they claim that it's nicotine free. No more than 0.05 per cig.

Is this for real? If it's only 0.05 mg's per cig is this going to help him stop? If it is really nicotine free will he ever get over the craving that we all felt and feel?

I try to tell him just stop, but I had an advantage, I was in the hospital. I had no choice at the time. I am feeling better and I must say I do forget about smoking as the days go on, however there are still alot of times I feel like I could light up any time. Holding out!!!

First Previous 2-3 of 3 Next Last
Recommend Message 2 of 3 in Discussion
From: Joel Sent: 9/7/2003 10:08 AM
Here are couple of strings that you will find of interest. One talks about Quest specifically, the other discusses the whole premise of the concept of gradual nicotine reduction. Nicotine Free Quest is NOT Nicotine Free

Quitting by gradual withdrawal

Recommend (1 recommendation so far) Message 3 of 3 in Discussion
From: jjones Sent: 9/7/2003 4:49 PM
I quit 13 days ago. I tried Quest about 2 months ago and honestly can say that quitting cold turkey was much easier plus the "nicotine free" cigs taste horrible. I have a friend who is a pharmacist and she told me that any type of smoking, 100% tobacco, veggie cigs, etc. is bad for you.


September 8th, 2003, 6:56 am #15

Quitting by Gradual Withdrawal

Quitting by the gradual withdrawal method. I discuss this method quite extensively in my seminars. I always tell how if there is anyone attending who knows a smoker who they really despise they should actively encourage them to follow the gradual withdrawal "cut down" approach. They should call them up ever day and tell them to just get rid of one cigarette. Meaning, if they usually smoke 40 a day, just smoke 39 on the first day of the attempt to quit. The next day they should be encouraged to smoke only 38 then 37 the next day and so on. Then the seminar participant should call these people every day to congratulate them and encourage them to continue. I must reemphasize, this should only be done to a smoker you really despise.

You see, most smokers will agree to this approach. It sounds so easy to just smoke one less each day. Thirty-nine cigarettes to a two pack a day smoker seems like nothing. The trick is to convince the person that you are only trying to help them. For the first week or two the one downside is you have to pretend to like the person and you have to talk to them every day. They won't whine to bad either. When they are down to 30 from 40, they may start to complain a little. You really won't be having fun yet. When the payoff comes is about three weeks into scam. Now you've got them to less than half their normal amount. They are in moderate withdrawal all the time.

A month into the approach you've got them into pretty major withdrawal. But be persistent. Call them and tell them how great they are doing and how proud you are of them. When they are in their 35th to 39th day, you have pulled off a major coup. This poor person is in peak withdrawal, suffering miserably and having absolutely nothing to show for it. They are no closer to ending withdrawal than the day you started the process. They are in chronic withdrawal, not treating him or herself to one or two a day, but actually depriving him or herself of 35 to 40 per day.

If you want to go in for the kill, when you got them down to zero, tell them don't worry if things get tough, just take a puff every once in a while. If you can get them to fall for this, taking one puff every third day, they will remain in withdrawal forever. Did I mention you really should despise this person to do this to them? It is probably the cruelest practical joke that you could ever pull on anyone. You will undercut their chance to quit, make them suffer immeasurably and likely they will at some point throw in the towel, return to smoking, have such fear of quitting because of what they went through cutting down, that they will continue to smoke until it kills them. Like I said, you better really despise this person.

Hopefully there is no one you despise that much to do this to them. I hope nobody despises themselves enough to do this to themselves. Quitting cold turkey may be hard but quitting by this withdrawal technique is virtually impossible. If you have a choice between hard and impossible, go for hard. You will have something to show at the end of a hard process, but nothing but misery at the end of an impossible approach. Quit cold and in 72 hours it eases up. Cut down and it will basically get progressively worse for weeks, months, years if you let it.

I should mention, this is not a new technique. It has been around for decades. Talk to every long-term ex-smoker you know. Try to find one person who successfully used the cut down approach, gradually reducing to eventual zero over weeks or months. You will be hard pressed to find even one person who fits this bill. One other perspective that should help you see the flaw in the approach. Look at people here who had once quit for months or years and then relapsed. One day, after such a long time period, they take a drag and are smoking again. If one puff can do this after years or decades, guess what it will do after days or hours of being smoke free. It puts the smoker back to square one. All that any ex-smoker has to do to avoid relapse or chronic withdrawal is to - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!



November 9th, 2003, 12:02 am #16

There's Bob, bringing up these important threads again!!

I'm a junkie ~ a recovering alcoholic as well as a recovering nicotine addict. I drank for the alcohol; I smoked for the nicotine; I drink coffee for the caffine . . . . . . . .

Why would I drink O'Doull's (which is not 100% alcohol free if you read the fine print) if it won't give me a buzz?

Why would I smoke a cigarette of any kind that wouldn't feed my nicotine addiction?

By the way, I don't drink decaf coffee either ~ why bother??

In AA, when newcomers ask about drinking non-alcoholic beer or wine they are met with a resounding "NO"!! It's playing with fire.

We have a hard enough time in the beginning with our quits ~ why confuse the issues by pretending we're smoking?? Our junkie brains will never get fed what they think they need by substitute sticks. Gosh ~ I just had a memory of smoking some "weed" during my first quit back in the 70's. Just had to inhale "something"! How sick!!

Had another flashback, too, while writing this ~ how many of you remember those packs of candy cigarettes with the little red ends that made them look like they were really lit?? Gosh, my addiciton goes WAY back!! Tried to emulate my parents who were both chain smokers . . . . . . . dad died from lung cancer at 64. I just pray that I'm not too late with this quit . . . . .

God Bless,
Free and Healing for Sixteen Days, 12 Hours and 21 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 1 Day and 3 Hours, by avoiding the use of 330 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $42.97.


November 2nd, 2004, 4:57 am #17

I see I missed this one. I'm popping it up so that I don't miss it again if the question about Quest ever comes up again.

John (Gold)
John (Gold)

September 28th, 2008, 8:41 pm #18

Low-nicotine doesn't mean less nicotine
Los Angeles Times 11:00 AM, September 27, 2008
by Shari Roan
Low-nicotine cigarettes are used by some smokers as a first step to wean themselves from their addiction. A study from UCLA researchers, however, casts doubt on that strategy.
Light cigarettes contain from 0.6 to 1 milligram of nicotine compared with 1.2 to 1.4 milligrams in regular cigarettes. But light cigarettes deliver nearly as much of a nicotine punch to the brain as regular cigarettes, the study found. Even the smaller amount of nicotine in the light cigarettes is enough to bind to a significant percentage of the brain's nicotine receptors. Engaging the brain's nicotine receptors leads to a rush of the brain chemical dopamine and gives smokers a pleasurable feeling.

The study also looked at de-nicotinized cigarettes and their effects on the brain. These cigarettes contain only a trace of nicotine (.05 mg) and are being studied as a tool to help smokers quit. But even these cigarettes release enough nicotine to engage a sizable number of the brain's nicotine receptors. A previous study showed that a regular cigarette occupied 88% of the brain's nicotine receptors. This study found that a light cigarette occupied 79% of the receptors and a de-nicotinized cigarette 26%.

"Very little nicotine is needed to occupy a substantial portion of the brain nicotine receptors," said Dr. Arthur L. Brody, a UCLA psychiatry professor. "Researchers, clinicians and smokers themselves should consider that fact when trying to quit."
The study was performed on 15 smokers. They were examined with positron emission tomography scans of their brains after smoking a regular cigarette, a light cigarette and a de-nicotinized cigarette. The study was published online Friday in the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology.

The National Cancer Institute says that smoking light cigarettes does not reduce the health risks from smoking. For more information on the health impact from smoking light cigarettes, see this NCI fact sheet.

Copyright 2008 Los Angeles Times

Note: Although the above LA Times story is clearly in error is saying the these are the amounts of nicotine that each type of cigarette "contain," I share it here because even though sales are weak, "Nicotine-Free" Quest cigarettes have become a novalty item that apparently remain on the market in some locations.
This story asserts that smoking one will cause 26% of brain a4b2 type acetylcholine receptors to become occupied. What the story doesn't tell us is the minimum percentage of receptors that need to be occupied and for how long in order to: (1) initiate chemical dependency onset (2) maintain active dependency without living in a state of chronic withdrawal or (3) that will foster relapse. The story also suggests that each study participant smoked only one cigarette of each type. While the findings are fascinating, the percentages tell us nothing about the dynamics of ongoing use at a particular nicotine level or the percentage occupied, once the brain begins down-regulating the number of a4b2 receptors following cessation or upregulating their numbers following continued use (tolerance) or following relapse.
What is newsworthy is that this study suggests that calling Quest Nicotine-Free is a deceptive trade practice that may be costing ex-users their recoveries. Hopefully the attorneys general in the states where it is sold will investigate and take immediate action.
As for the story's assertion that the average cigarette "contain"s 1.2 to 1.4mg of nicotine, the stated figures reflect are the amount of nicotine delivered into the "average" smoker's bloodstream when smoked.
While the average American cigarette contains 8 to 9 milligrams of nicotine,[1] some is burned, some escapes through cigarette ventilation and the filter traps some. The lungs absorb nearly 90% of inhaled nicotine.[2] It results in the average smoker introducing 1.17 to 1.37 milligrams of nicotine into their bloodstream with each cigarette smoked.[3] Average intake can vary significantly from smoker to smoker, ranging from 0.3 to 3.2 mg of nicotine per cigarette.[4]
But none of this need ever again be our concern so long as all the world's nicotine remains on the outside. There was always only one rule ... no nicotine today!
Breathe deep, hug hard, live long,
John (Gold x9)
[1] Benowitz NL, et al, Establishing a nicotine threshold for addiction. The implications for tobacco regulation, New England Journal of Medicine, July 14, 1994, Volume 331(2), Pages 123-125.
[2] Philip Morris, Memorandum, Media Presentation - Draft Outline, April 7, 1998, Bates Number: 2064334296.
[3] Jarvis MJ, et al, Nicotine yield from machine-smoked cigarettes and nicotine intakes in smokers: evidence from a representative population survey, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, January 17, 2001, Volume 93(2), Pages 134-138.
[4] Benowitz NL, et al, Establishing a nicotine threshold for addiction. The implications for tobacco regulation, New England Journal of Medicine, July 14, 1994, Volume 331(2), Pages 123-125.

Joined: November 11th, 2008, 7:22 pm

October 29th, 2011, 3:37 pm #19

Imagine requiring 97% less nicotine in cigarettes.  As suggested by the below article, the next generation of reduced nicotine cigarettes may not be just be a novalty item, as was "almost" nicotine-free Quests, but a government requirement that attempts to reduce nicotine levels to a point where it's difficult for a child or teen to get hooked, and, in theory, easier for smokers to walk away.  Although I doubt many parents will consent to allowing their child be the first to test researcher addiction theory, substantial resources are being devoted to the study of effects of diminishing tobacco's nicotine levels.  

But none of us ever need worry about our government passing regulations requiring that the amount of nicotine in our brand be slashed by 97% so long as we continue to adhere to just one rule ... no nicotine today!

Breathe deep, hug hard, live long,

John - Gold x12 

Cigarettes Are Enlisted to
Test Ways of Quitting
By Duff Wilson - New York Time - October 28, 2011 When a truck recently delivered 45,000 cartons of cigarettes to a research company in North Carolina, it was a turning point in the government’s war on smoking.

These were no ordinary cigarettes, but experimental ones, made of genetically altered tobacco to lower the nicotine content by 97 percent while preserving all the other tastes and smells and rituals for smokers of conventional cigarettes.

Researchers had been seeking a new and bigger supply because shortages had limited previous studies to just dozens of people. The experimental cigarettes are produced by a Massachusetts company, the 22nd Century Group, which holds 98 patents for genetic manipulation of tobacco plants to reduce or increase the amount of nicotine in cigarettes.

The National Institutes of Health bought nine million of these cigarettes, marked “for research purposes only,” from the 22nd Century Group as part of a broadening scientific effort to find ways to regulate cigarettes so that they are nonaddictive. The Spectrum brand test cigarettes have eight different levels of nicotine for research, from a nicotine content of 3 percent to 100 percent of the nicotine in the best-selling Marlboro Gold, though a 97 percent reduction is the most common level.

Dr. Nora D. Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the N.I.H., which oversees the work, called the delivery crucial for the new federal research projects. These include last month’s award of $2.5 million for the first year of a planned five-year series of studies into threshold levels of nicotine addiction and the possible impact of a sharp reduction in nicotine on smoking and public health.

One study of the test cigarettes will follow about 500 smokers over six months to determine whether they are more likely to quit if they switch to those cigarettes quickly or gradually. The research, led by Dorothy K. Hatsukami, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Minnesota, and Eric C. Donny, associate professor of psychology at the University of Pittsburgh, will use about 1.5 million of the recently acquired cigarettes.

For researchers, the availability of a new supply of test cigarettes is “a game changer,” said Mitch Zeller, co-chairman of the Tobacco Harm Reduction Network at the National Cancer Institute and a consultant on nicotine replacement products. “It’s still all about the nicotine. Only now we have the power to do something about it.”

At the same time, officials in the $80 billion tobacco industry have warned of unexpected side effects from addiction withdrawal and black market products, complex issues the Food and Drug Administration will have to study in considering regulation.

Under a 2009 law giving the F.D.A. authority over tobacco products, the agency cannot ban nicotine, but can require that it be reduced to extremely low levels if that is proved to benefit public health.

“We really need to have good science to determine whether this might be a product standard, and to have good science, we need reduced-nicotine cigarettes,” said Dr. Hatsukami, who is also a member of the F.D.A. Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee. Her work stalled when companies stopped making very-low-nicotine cigarettes. “In the middle of a study, we don’t have the cigarettes,” she said.

Dr. Neal L. Benowitz, another researcher and member of the federal committee, had received specially manufactured low-nicotine cigarettes from Philip Morris, a division of the Altria Group, makers of Marlboro cigarettes. When he went back for more, Philip Morris had stopped making them. Dr. Benowitz is also relying on the new supply, which the government will give to researchers without charge.

The 22nd Century Group is also applying for F.D.A. approval of its own test cigarette, called “X-22,” as a prescription-only smoking cessation device.

“No one has ever sought F.D.A. approval of a cigarette as a medical device,” Joseph Pandolfino, the founder and chief executive of 22nd Century, said in an interview. Preliminary studies show smokers can have an easier time quitting if they taper off the nicotine while still being able to do all the other things they do with cigarettes, he said, but larger studies are needed.

Another cigarette in testing, called “Brand B,” has tobacco that was genetically modified to have high levels of nicotine. The company hopes it will be approved by the F.D.A. as a “modified risk” tobacco product — a safer cigarette because users would take fewer puffs to get the same amount of nicotine.

The growing industry of quit-smoking products — patches, gum, lozenges and pills — has not further dented the rather steady rate of smoking recently in the United States, which has stayed at about 20 percent since 2004 after years of notable decline. A new crop of electronic cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products seem aimed more at getting smokers through smoke-free times rather than quitting.

Earlier this month, the F.D.A. and N.I.H. also announced they were starting a $118 million study to track about 44,000 people over five years to assess usage trends, risk perception, quit-smoking attempts and the possible impact of new tobacco regulations. In 2006, a federal judge found that tobacco companies had designed cigarettes to precisely control the amount of nicotine and provide doses sufficient for addiction, while concealing much of their nicotine research. They marketed so-called light cigarettes, which delivered a lower dose to smoking machines because of holes in the filter, but the same dose or worse to smokers who compensated by covering the holes with their lips and drawing harder.

In two small studies by Dr. Hatsukami and Dr. Benowitz, the genetically altered cigarettes were found to defeat the phenomenon of smoker “compensation.” But researchers said they needed much more evidence.

Tests so far on the experimental cigarettes are encouraging enough that Dr. Hatsukami is going into a Phase 3 clinical trial. That means Phase 2 trials have proven effectiveness on humans. Phase 3 measures both effectiveness and safety. 22nd Century is also planning to start Phase 3 trials next year.

The studies are examining gradual or rapid reductions of nicotine. In a regulated marketplace, the government could set limits on nicotine and ratchet down. And teenagers could still experiment with cigarettes, as they are wont to do, without getting addicted.

“It’s a hot topic,” said Clifford E. Douglas, director of the University of Michigan Tobacco Research Network. “But as difficult as menthol has been, nicotine will be more difficult, because it’s not 15 million smokers, it’s every smoker in the United States.” The F.D.A., under its new authority, has focused on Congressional mandates over menthol, dissolvable products and graphic warning labels on cigarette packages, each a contentious issue of its own with tobacco companies challenging science and policy.

The F.D.A.’s advisory panel has not put nicotine on its agenda yet, which is why Dr. Gregory N. Connolly, a Harvard professor of public health and antismoking advocate, said he resigned from the F.D.A. panel in December.

“After 50 years of knowing cigarettes cause cancer, it’s nice to know we have a supply we can investigate,” Dr. Connolly said. “But the real issue is the F.D.A. should have begun a process two years ago to see if we can eliminate nicotine in cigarettes, at least for children. If we can put a man on the moon, we can get rid of nicotine.”

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