The FDA Plans To Drastically Reduce The Amount Of Nicotine In Cigarettes

The FDA Plans To Drastically Reduce The Amount Of Nicotine In Cigarettes

The Food and Drug Administration is planning on reducing the amount of nicotine in cigarettes to make them less addictive and essentially save more lives.

Commissioner Scott Gottlieb called the move "an historic first step" to make cigarettes minimally addictive or nonaddictive.

The FDA is accepting public comments on the proposal.

"Tobacco use also costs almost $300 billion a year in direct health care and lost productivity".

The new move could send national smoking rates plummeting, from the current 15 percent of adults who smoke to as low as 1.4 percent.

The FDA first announced in July that it was planning to start a public dialogue about writing such a rule.

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The FDA does not have the power to ban cigarettes or tobacco products, but was given some powers of regulation over them by Congress in 2009.

James Figlar, executive vice president of research and development for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, said in a statement that he looks forward "to working with FDA on its science-based review of nicotine levels in cigarettes and to build on the opportunity of establishing a regulatory framework that is based on tobacco harm reduction and recognizes the continuum of risk". At this time, however, no specific nicotine limit has been set. Those include: What potential maximum nicotine level would be appropriate?

"Tobacco use causes a tremendous toll of death and disease every year and these effects are ultimately the result of addiction to the nicotine contained in combustible cigarettes, leading to repeated exposure to toxicants from such cigarettes", the agency said in the notice.

An analysis evaluating one possible nicotine product standard included in the notice and also being published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggested that if implemented, approximately 5 million more adults may quit smoking after 1 year and 33 million individuals, mainly youth and young adults, would avoid becoming regular smokers by 2100, according to the statement.

An additional wave of rule making will explore the role that premium cigars and flavors, including menthol, play in tobacco use. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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