FDA Proposes Cutting Nicotine Amounts In Cigarettes, Targeting Addiction

Posted July 29, 2017

A new "comprehensive plan for tobacco and nicotine regulation" was launched that the FDA said will serve "as a multi-year roadmap to better protect kids and significantly reduce tobacco-related disease and death".

The agency said it was adopting a harm-reduction strategy that seeks to balance regulation of existing products and encourage development of "new products that may be less risky than cigarettes".

In reaction to this news, Tobacco stocks plunged in morning trading.

It is estimated that 36.5 million people in this country are cigarette smokers.

"A renewed focus on nicotine can help us to achieve a world where cigarettes no longer addict future generations of our kids", Gottlieb said in a speech to staff in Silver Spring, Maryland. The rules forced manufactures to put health warnings on product packaging and on advertisements, and prohibited sales to anyone under the age of 18.

Tobacco use is tied to 480,000 deaths per year in the United States.

"The overwhelming amount of death and disease attributable to tobacco is caused by addiction to cigarettes - the only legal consumer product that, when used as intended, will kill half of all long-term users", FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement.

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ENDS are devices like e-cigarettes and nicotine vaporizers.

Neil Wilson of ETX Capital said it was "hard to overstate" what falling numbers of addicts and less frequent smoking could mean for corporate revenues. In 2014, about 17 percent of American smoked; by 2016, that figure had dropped to 15 percent.

"The FDA intends to start an open discourse about bringing down nicotine levels in ignitable cigarettes to non-addictive levels through achievable item models", the organization said in the declaration.

Mr. Gottlieb said the agency would look at regulation to "render cigarettes minimally addictive".

He also stressed the need to properly regulate products like electronic cigarettes, which can deliver nicotine without the harmful compounds found in tobacco smoke.

Signed into law in 2009 by former President Obama, the Act gives the FDA power to regulate the tobacco industry.