cigarettes and nicotine

A Minor Drag: FDA Pushes Proposal for Reducing Nicotine in Cigarettes

The proposal aims to reduce the amount of nicotine in cigarettes to just 20 percent of current levels.  

The FDA is working to reduce the level of nicotine in cigarettes to address the public health issues and addiction that result from smoking.

With the goal of reducing smoking-related deaths as well as reducing addiction rates, the FDA aims to reduce the amount of nicotine in cigarettes to 20 percent of the amount that can be currently found in the combustible nicotine products.

Although the FDA has limited jurisdiction over the amount of nicotine in cigarettes, the organization plans to move forward with a proposal it presented last summer to gain more control over “combustible tobacco products.”

The FDA envisions a future in which people are not as able to become addicted to combustible products that are so detrimental to health. The FDA tweeted a statement from Scott Gottlieb, a commissioner for the FDA, about hope for the future.

“We’re taking a pivotal step today that could ultimately bring us closer to our vision of a world where combustible cigarettes would no longer create or sustain addiction – making it harder for future generations to become addicted in the first place,” he said.

As far as e-cigarettes, the products list will not be released until 2022 and very little is known about the ability of e-cigarettes to aid in combating nicotine addictions.

In a press release from the FDA from July 2017, the organization stated, “Under expected revised timelines, applications for newly-regulated combustible products, such as cigars, pipe tobacco and hookah tobacco, would be submitted by Aug. 8, 2021, and applications for non-combustible products such as ENDS or e-cigarettes would be submitted by Aug. 8, 2022.”

There are currently no regulations on the amount of nicotine in cigarettes. The FDA found that people are more likely to quit smoking when they smoke products with low levels of nicotine.

According to an article from the FDA, the organizations is exploring the possibility of a new “nicotine product standard” as well in its plan to reduce negative health effects from combustible tobacco products.

According to a tweet from the FDA, “Cigarettes are the only legal consumer product that when used as intended will kill half of all long-term users.”

The members of the FDA pushing the proposal forward are looking forward to this as a “historic first step” toward changing health policies, according to Gottlieb.

Gottlieb tweeted, “Today #FDA took a historic first step to advance our rulemaking process to render combustible cigarettes minimally or non addictive through regulation of nicotine levels under the FDA’s tobacco product standard.”

This would be the first effort seen by the FDA to reduce the nicotine in cigarettes, as the FDA works to combat the successful commercial efforts of tobacco industries in the interest of public health.

Gabriella Evans, Northern Arizona University

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Gabriella Evans

Northern Arizona University

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