The FDA Just Moved to Limit the Amount of Nicotine in Cigarettes

Sunday, 18 Mar, 2018

Although the effort announced Thursday is an advance notice of proposed rulemaking - the first step in the creation of a new regulation - it represents the FDA's first effort to dictate what can and cannot be included in a cigarette, according to former Rep. Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif., who championed anti-smoking policies during his decades in Congress. (A recent CDC study shows that while smoking has declined, vaping has increased.) Clark said his organization prefers that e-cigarette makers be truthful in advertisements by marketing products as "less risky alternatives" to smoking that have the ability to help smokers quit.

I think if this could be implemented, it could be a tremendous boon for public health.

The agency has started the process of public comment on setting a maximum nicotine level in cigarettes with the goal of making them minimally or non-addictive.

He added that the FDA will soon issue two additional ANPRMs: one to seek data and comment on the role that flavors - including menthol - play in the initiation, use and cessation of tobacco products, and another to further explore the regulation of premium cigars. "In fact, cigarettes are the only legal consumer product that, when used as intended, will kill half of all long-term users". The nicotine levels delivered by conventional cigarettes made domestically are in the range of 1.1 to 1.7 milligrams, according to the notice.

"We believe this unprecedented approach to nicotine and tobacco regulation not only makes sense, but also offers us the best opportunity for achieving significant, meaningful public health gain", Gottlieb said. Gottlieb said the FDA was also seeking public opinion on whether a product standard should be implemented all at once or gradually.

Gottlieb admitted that people might smoke more of the low-nicotine cigarettes to get the same effect, as well as the possibility that a black market for high-nicotine cigarettes might develop, the Post reported.

An accompanying analysis in the New England Journal of Medicine outlines one such version of the proposal. After that, Gottlieb said, "we're not going to prejudge how long this will take". Now about 15% of adults in the USA smoke.

The health benefits of the policy are obvious and the resulting economic benefits would be enormous.

"There is no other single action our country can take that would prevent more young people from smoking or save more lives", Matthew Myers, the campaign's president, said.

On Twitter, Gottlieb called the FDA's move "a historic first step" to make cigarettes minimally addictive or nonaddictive.

"This move is very exciting and very encouraging for our field", Strasser said of the FDA announcement.

It also promised to 'begin a public dialogue about lowering nicotine levels in combustible cigarettes to non-addictive levels.' Today's announcement is official opening of that dialogue.

It seemed to work to reduce addiction-but only with the groups smoking 2.4 mg of nicotine per cigarette or less. "What they perceive as a lack in quality, or the amount of nicotine needed to satisfy their nicotine craving, they may make up for in quantity, the number of products consumed", she suggested.

Tobacco companies were chewing over the proposal.