Center for Tobacco Studies Experts Available to Comment on F.D.A. Plan to Reduce Nicotine Cigarettes

Experts from the Center for Tobacco Studies, based at Rutgers University, are available to discuss the F.D.A.’s plan to reduce nicotine in cigarettes to help prevent addiction. 

Since their time, however, is limited here are quotes for pick-up from Andrea Villanti, Deputy Director, Center for Tobacco Studies, who has published research on the topic of nicotine and addiction:

  • Combustible tobacco products, like cigarettes and cigars, form a deadly combination of toxicity and appeal that is responsible for the bulk of tobacco-related deaths and disease in the U.S. It is the burning of these products that cause the death and disease from them, not the nicotine. FDA’s actions to regulate nicotine in cigarettes represent an important step in reducing the harms of combustible – or smoke-able – tobacco products.
  • Unfortunately, a large proportion of Americans believe that nicotine is the harmful substance in cigarettes and that nicotine causes cancer.  Nicotine makes cigarettes addictive, but it is the burning and smoking of the cigarettes that overwhelmingly causes the harms to health. Our work has shown that brief educational messaging on nicotine can correct these misperceptions and we continue to research how best to develop and deliver messages that will reduce false beliefs about nicotine and reduced nicotine content cigarettes. 
  • The goal of FDA regulation on nicotine in cigarettes is to reduce initiation in young Americans and increase smoking cessation in people who smoke.  Maximizing the public health benefit of FDA’s actions to reduce nicotine in cigarettes will require public education to correct misperceptions on nicotine and on reduced nicotine content cigarettes, as well as substantial support and resources for smoking cessation.  


  • Villanti AC, Naud S, West JC, Pearson JL, Wackowski OA, Niaura RS, Hair E, Rath JM. Prevalence and correlates of nicotine and nicotine product perceptions in U.S. young adults, 2016. Addict Behav. 2019;98:106020. PubMed PMID: 31238235. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6947657.
  • Villanti AC, West JC, Mays D, Donny EC, Cappella JN, Strasser AA. Impact of Brief Nicotine Messaging on Nicotine-Related Beliefs in a U.S. Sample. Am J Prev Med. 2019;57(4):e135-e142. PubMed PMID: 31542145. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6756180.
  • Villanti AC, Byron MJ, Mercincavage M, Pacek LR. Misperceptions of Nicotine and Nicotine Reduction: The Importance of Public Education to Maximize the Benefits of a Nicotine Reduction Standard. Nicotine Tob Res. 2019;21(Supplement_1):S88-S90. PubMed PMID: 31867645. 

Media interested in talking to an expert at the Center can contact Patti Verbanas at [email protected].