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FDA announces push to slash nicotine in cigarettes

16 March 2018

Gottlieb noted that although a potential nicotine product standard is at the forefront of the FDA's approach, the FDA is also moving forward with other aspects of its tobacco and nicotine regulation plan, including better protection for children against the marketing of tobacco products, seeking comment on the role of flavors in the initiation, use and cessation of tobacco products, and modernizing the development of medicinal nicotine replacement products.

Smoking has fallen to an all-time low of only 15 percent of U.S.

Commissioner Scott Gottlieb unveiled an "advance notice of proposed rulemaking", the earliest step in what promises to be a long, complicated regulatory effort to lower nicotine levels to be minimally addictive or nonaddictive.

The Food and Drug Administration just took a major step toward helping future generations avoid cigarette addictions by proposing a new plan to lower the amount of nicotine in cigarettes.

Cutting nicotine to 0.5 milligram or less could help about 5 million adults smokers to quit within one year and prevent more than 33 million people from becoming regular smokers by the year 2100.

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

"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. For instance, will smokers turn to illicitly imported products, or simply smoke more cigarettes?

"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?"

Samir Soneji, principle investigator of the study and associate professor from the Dartmouth's Geisel School of Medicine said in a statement that, "E-cigarettes will likely cause more public health harm than public health benefit unless ways can be found to substantially decrease the number of adolescents and young adults who vape and increase the number of smokers who use e-cigarettes to successfully quit smoking".

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.

FDA announces push to slash nicotine in cigarettes