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Study Finds Increase in Nicotine Content in Cigarettes

A study indicates that the average level of nicotine in cigarettes has risen 10 percent in the past six years, making it harder for smokers to quit.

The health department for the state of Massachusetts released a study this week. It shows how much nicotine content has changed and how much nicotine smokers inhale when they smoke. The study said cigarettes in 2004 yielded the smoker nearly 10 percent more nicotine per cigarette than in 1998.

The increase in nicotine levels varied by brand, with some increasing as much as 30 percent. Fifty two out of 116 brands studied had nicotine increases of more than 10 percent.

Health experts say higher nicotine content makes cigarettes more addictive and smoking harder to quit. U.S. tobacco companies have not commented on the study.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.