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

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

"Today, we're taking a pivotal step", FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said on a conference call with media on Thursday.

Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, an antismoking group, said that Thursday's action will have "enormous significance" - provided it is followed by quick FDA action to develop and adopt a final rule.

This story will updated.

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

"We're interested in public input on critical questions such as: what potential maximum nicotine level would be appropriate for the protection of public health?"

Gottlieb has announced that he will explore "a product standard" in order to lower nicotine levels below what is necessary to become dependent on the highly-addictive stimulant.

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"On the other hand, e-cigarettes may facilitate cigarette smoking initiation and confer substantial harm to adolescents and young adults once they are introduced to nicotine", Soneji added.

Gottlieb said the FDA does not want to make nicotine products harder to get. It is also seeking comment from the public on things like where nicotine levels should be capped, whether caps should be implemented gradually or all at once, and what unintended consequences could occur. For instance, will smokers turn to illicitly imported products, or simply smoke more cigarettes?

"'Although the tobacco industry markets e-cigarettes as a tool to help adult smokers quit smoking, e-cigarette use actually only marginally increases the number of adult cigarette smokers who are able to successfully quit", he said.

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".

The FDA plans to file two more rule-making notices - on one the impact of flavored tobacco, including menthol, and one on premium cigars.

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