FDA Moves to Curb Nicotine in Cigarettes

Mar 16, 2018, 01:12
FDA Moves to Curb Nicotine in Cigarettes

"As part of our comprehensive plan on tobacco and nicotine regulation announced last summer, we're issuing an advance notice of proposed rulemaking to explore a product standard to lower nicotine in cigarettes to minimally or non-addictive levels".

The Dartmouth researchers pulled data from a variety of national surveys of health and tobacco use to calculate how many years of life are gained or lost from e-cigarette use.

The Food and Drug Administration estimated that its sweeping anti-smoking plan, first announced last summer, could push the USA smoking rate to 1.4 percent.

The FDA also plans to seek similar public input and scientific research on the role that flavors such as menthol play in tobacco addiction and also for the regulation of premium cigars, Gottlieb said.

A study released Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine projected that cutting nicotine to a non-addictive level could mean five million fewer smokers in the first year of implementation. He added that no regulatory agency anywhere in the world has seriously proposed reducing nicotine in cigarettes.

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

With more than 20 cigarettes a day, people were 70 percent more likely to develop high frequency hearing loss and 40 percent more likely to develop low frequency hearing loss.

"It is critical that the FDA move as quickly as possible to turn this plan into reality", said Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. "FDA is seeking information about the scope of a nicotine standard, a threshold nicotine level, the nature of implementation, analytical testing methods, technical achievability, and the possible creation of an illicit market".

Myers urged the FDA to take additional aggressive actions, such as requiring large graphic health warnings that cover at least half of cigarette packs.

The FDA is considering a number of key questions about implementing the proposal.

The FDA has sponsored several recent studies showing that when smokers switch to very low nicotine cigarettes they smoke less and are more likely to try quitting.

A Japanese research team found that smokers have a higher risk to develop hearing loss than those that are non-smokers. It is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation which is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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