Nicotine reduction, such as very low nicotine cigarettes, could help towards achieving New Zealand's smokefree goal, according to a University of Auckland study.
Study co-author Professor Chris Bullen says cigarette smoking continues to devastate the health and lives of smokers.
"One way to reduce smoking is to make it less addictive by greatly reducing how much nicotine is in the tobacco people smoke," he said.
In the study, researchers from Auckland, Pittsburgh and Minnesota universities showed that reducing the nicotine content of cigarettes had the potential to produce huge benefits with minimal harm.
They said the public health impact could be enormous and help New Zealand attain its goal of being effectively smokefree by 2025.
The research, published in the journal Tobacco Control, with be presented to the Smokefree 2025 Research Symposium in Wellington on Wednesday.
Professor Bullen said the use of cigarettes with very low nicotine content by current smokers has many potential benefits.
These included decreasing overall nicotine intake, decreasing cigarette dependence and the number of cigarettes smoked per day, and increasing the likelihood of making and succeeding with a quit attempt.
Prof Bullen said concerns that people smoked these cigarettes more intensively were not supported by the research evidence.