Nicotine Free Quest is NOT Nicotine Free

John (Gold)
John (Gold)

January 28th, 2003, 9:53 am #1

New Quest Cigarettes are
NOT Nicotine Free
A host of new nicotine products are hitting the streets to play, prey and produce pay upon the chemical captivity of our brothers and sisters still in bondage. The newest entrant, Vector's Quest, takes advantage of hundreds of millions in NRT marketing that conditioned smokers to believe that they could gradually wean themselves off of nicotine by slowly stepping down their intake while using the nicotine patch, spray, gum, inhaler and lozenge, a game which recent studies have declared is not an effective means of cessation - (see Sept. 11, 2002 JAMA study - http://jama.ama-assn.org/issues/v288n10 ... 11973.html and November 2002 Health Affairs study - http://www.healthaffairs.org/1130_abstr ... n6/s24.pdf

The difference between Quest and NRT is that the nicotine addict gets to continue smoking while inhaling 10 milligrams of tar, 43 known carcinogens and over 4,000 individual chemical constituents, while playing the nicotine weaning game.

Yes, nicotine addicts now have three different packs of Quest that respectively deliver .6mg, .3mg and .05 mg of nicotine per cigarette, using tobacco from genetically engineered tobacco plants. It's amazing that Vector can claim that the pack containing .05 mg of nicotine per cigarette is "NICOTINE FREE" when it just flatly isn't true.

Does a cigarette containing .05 mg of nicotine carry the potential to induce relapse? In light of the youth dependency findings in the 2002 HONC study (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/quer ... t=Abstract ) there is plenty of room for legitimate concern. Thousands upon thousands of nicotine addicts appear to have been able to sustain their nicotine needs while smoking Merit, Now, Carlton, Next, Cambridge, and Bristol, each of which fielded brands containing .1 mg of nicotine or less.

The companies official web site - http://www.questcigs.com/home.asp - contains the following:
WARNING: This product is NOT intended for using in quitting smoking. Quest is for smokers seeking to reduce nicotine exposure only.
There is only sure fire way to keep our healing and glory alive and each of us know that it involves one simple rule - Never Take Another Puff!

Nicotine-Free Cigarettes
Available in 7 U.S. States

Mon January 27, 2003 02:17 PM ET
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Smokers who want the cigarette without the nicotine now have a product they can reach for on store shelves, according to a Monday announcement.
The company Vector Group Ltd. announced that it is now selling nicotine-reduced and nicotine-free cigarettes in stores in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Michigan.

The cigarettes are marketed under the label Quest, and are available in three varieties. Quest 1 has only 0.6 milligrams of nicotine, Quest 2 halves that amount, and Quest 3 contains only trace amounts of the addictive substance.

Company representatives report that the Quest cigarettes taste and smoke like other cigarettes.

They caution that the product is designed to help smokers cut back on nicotine, and not to quit smoking altogether.

"For years experts have agreed that nicotine is the addictive element that keeps nearly 50 million US smokers hooked on cigarettes," Dr. Tony Albino of Vector Group said in a statement.

"We believe that reducing the levels of nicotine in cigarettes--and eliminating it altogether in Quest 3--is a significant achievement, which could ultimately provide a major contribution to public health," Albino added.

http://asia.reuters.com/newsArticle.jht ... ID=2118207


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OBob Gold
OBob Gold

January 28th, 2003, 10:34 am #2

This just makes me sick to my stomach. If it contains nicotine, claiming that it is nicotine free is an out-and-out lie. How many people will lose their lives because of this lie. It's just sick.
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smokefreeJD Gold
smokefreeJD Gold

January 28th, 2003, 10:37 am #3

I don't know what angers me more... the fact that they keep treating smokers like idiots by coming out with more money making products rather than just tell the truth, or the fact that I might have bought these things if I had never found this website. *shakes head sadly*

Jill
3 Months 3 Weeks 4 Days
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Joined: January 16th, 2003, 8:00 am

January 28th, 2003, 10:41 am #4

I'm with you O'Bob.
And furthermore, as little as a month ago I probably would've seen them as heaven sent! I'm one of the lucky ones...I found this site and got an education while lurking that convinced me that nicotine is addictive and that I am an addict and that I COULD quit and do it cold turkey and do it one day at a time and not be miserable about it!
Sal
Two weeks, one day, 19 hours, 41 minutes and 13 seconds.
316 cigarettes not smoked!
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

January 28th, 2003, 12:15 pm #5

January 27, 2003 - 5:22 pm

Experts, Smokers Debate Effects
of Low-Nicotine Cigarettes
By Leslie Olsen
News 8 Reporter
Indiana and six other states are now test markets for a new brand of cigarettes that claim to help smokers kick the habit. But do they really work? That depends on who you ask.

The cigarettes are called Quest. They are aimed at smokers who want to quit, and the idea is to help smokers wean themselves off addictive nicotine.

Quest comes in three nicotine strengths, with the lowest having only a trace of the addictive chemical. But a local lung doctor predicts Quest smokers will end up smoking more cigarettes.

Quest displays are appearing at Indiana tobacco stores and getting the attention of some smokers. "I think it would help me possibly lower my smoking cravings," said Joel Murray, a smoker.

That's the idea, says the maker of Quest. "We think the step-down approach of Quest, meaning the Quest One, Two, Three, offers a novel way for smokers to step down to a nicotine-free environment," said Bennett Lebow, CEO of Vector Tobacco.

Lebow says Quest One has 17 percent less nicotine than most light cigarettes. Step Two has 58 percent less nicotine and Step Three boldly says it is nicotine-free, although the small print admits to trace amounts.

Murray's willing to give it a taste test. "For something that's nicotine-free, it gave me what I wanted," he said.

Quest is virtually untested. A Supreme Court ruling no longer allows the FDA to regulate the tobacco industry. Vector Tobacco is funding research at Duke University but since it is paying, the American Lung Association of Indiana considers that research could be considered suspect.

"It's certainly not something our organization would recommend for smoking cessation or for use at all, quite frankly," said John Smith, American Lung Association CEO.

Lung disease specialist Dr. Homer Twigg at IU School of Medicine doubts the cigarettes will benefit smokers. "I think smokers will just compensate be smoking more to make up for the less nicotine cigarettes," he said. "Just reducing one factor is very unlikely to reduce lung cancer in general."

Tobacco store owner Scott Upton expects sales to take off. "I think a lot of customers right now are trying to quit," he said. "So when they see a new product like this sometimes they'll experiment with it."

The Quest cigarettes are comparable in price to name brand cigarettes. Tobacco Express is selling them for $2.70 a pack on sale this week. But Dr. Twigg says smokers may end up paying twice as much for them, because they may smoke twice as many of them.
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WillBe (Silver)
WillBe (Silver)

January 28th, 2003, 12:43 pm #6

John, you are simply amazing.

I can't begin to think of how many people you have saved from this new foolish path.

I already feel guilty for not getting back on in time to thank people who reply to me before my posts get buried, and yet here you find the time to not only type out all this info but provide graphics, pics, links to the offending websites so that your lack of deceit is made bare ...

I too would have jumped at this product before I found this place, so again, thank you. Another pitfall avoided because I come here and I read the truth.

michael

One month, four weeks, 19 hours, 6 minutes and 51 seconds. 1175 cigarettes not smoked, saving $426.27. Life saved: 4 days, 1 hour, 55 minutes.
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Joel
Joel

January 28th, 2003, 11:01 pm #7

I wrote the reply below to a person who became a member and the next day asked if any of our members considered or had experience with herbal cigarettes. I think the comment fits very well into this thread.

By the way, the only way to guarantee that you will never take another puff on a burning nicotine product is simply knowing to never take another puff!

Joel

The reply to herbal cigarette question:

Forget it. Taking a herbal cigarette with the idea that it is somehow going to help you quit smoking is pretty much the same concept as giving an alcoholic grape juice because it looks like wine to treat alcoholism--with one noteable exception--grape juice is pretty much harmless--herbal cigarettes are in fact potentially dangerous as is any product that is burned and then inhaled into your lungs. Plus there are some issues which cigarettes being marketed as herbal or natural and still having tobacco in them. (see http://www.quackwatch.org/02ConsumerPro ... ettes.html)

You are new here. You will quickly see we are not a group looking for quick fix gimmicks or an easy way out of smoking--people are here because they want to break their nicotine addiction and break their associated habits as well. They are here to improve their overall health and not pick up other dangerous habits in substitution for cigarettes.

I brought up a few strings that address the issue from a few different angles, and I do think we have a string somewhere on herbal cigarettes that I can't locate at the moment. If you want this quit to stick start working on the premise that the way to break your addiction and your associated habits is not by looking for a new product to inhale but rather by just knowing when it comes to smoking the way to end it is to never take another puff!

Joel

Related strings:
"A Safer Way to Smoke?"
Crutches to Quit Smoking
The Easy Way Out
Nicotine Vs. Marijuana
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OBob Gold
OBob Gold

January 29th, 2003, 3:09 am #8

There was an interview with the CEO of Quest on a cable news show yesterday. They made no clarification on the "nicotine-free" assertion. Made me cringe to think of some guy who's got a 7 year, uneducated quit going, thinking he can have one of these for nostalgic purposes, and finding himself shaving 15 years off his life in the process. And, then, imagining thousands more just like him.

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

January 29th, 2003, 8:25 am #9

Today a person with a 4 year uneducated quit talked to me about the new "nicotine-free" cigarette. I told her that it was NOT nicotine free and related what I knew. She dismissed me with "They wouldn't be allowed to call it nicotine free if it wasn't". I hope that she doesn't try one.
Sal
Two weeks, two days, 17 hours, 24 minutes and 55 seconds.
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OBob Gold
OBob Gold

January 29th, 2003, 9:46 am #10

Sal,

It's written on the pack, and it's noted on their website. Here's the disclaimer from their site. Feel free to print it out, and show it to her, or refer her to their site:
http://www.questcigs.com/home.asp


The government allows all sorts of leeway with respect to calling things free of something if the contents are below a certain level. Many people are surprised to learn that "Non-alcoholic" beer contains alcohol. Or that "caffeine-free" cola contains caffeine. Just in smaller amounts than their "caffeinated" or "alcoholic" counterparts.

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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.
Sal
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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. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/quer ... 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."
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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
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Joel
Joel

September 7th, 2003, 11:04 pm #14

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Joel
Joel

September 8th, 2003, 6:54 am #15

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
Reply
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


Reply
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.
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Joel
Joel

September 8th, 2003, 6:56 am #16

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!

Joel
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OBob Gold
OBob Gold

November 8th, 2003, 5:12 pm #17

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CandidCandiSilver
CandidCandiSilver

November 9th, 2003, 12:02 am #18

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,
Candi
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.
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Joel
Joel

November 2nd, 2004, 4:57 am #19

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.
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

September 28th, 2008, 8:41 pm #20


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.
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