FDA Plans To Make Cigarettes Less Addictive

by Jared Lewis March 16, 2018, 1:11
FDA Plans To Make Cigarettes Less Addictive

It is also seeking comment from the public on things like where nicotine levels should be capped, whether caps should be implemented gradually or all at once, and what unintended consequences could occur.

FDA figures show tobacco use kills more than 480,000 Americans a year, costing some $300 billion in direct health care costs and lost productivity. And smoking rates could drop from the current 15 percent to 1.4 percent.

"This new regulatory step advances a comprehensive policy framework that we believe could help avoid millions of tobacco-related deaths across the country".

The possible acceptance of reduced-risk products makes the FDA's announcement a mixed bag for Big Tobacco.

Slashing the addictive substance could cause about 5 million adult smokers to quit smoking in the first year of adoption, according to the FDA. He added that no regulatory agency anywhere in the world has seriously proposed reducing nicotine in cigarettes.

"Our estimates underscore the tremendous opportunity to save so many lives if we come together and forge a new path forward to combat the overwhelming disease and death caused by cigarettes", FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement.

But tobacco makers were forced to admit to deliberately making cigarettes more addictive in an ad campaign that is now running.

Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, an antismoking group, said the move will have "enormous significance" - if the agency moves quickly through the process of developing and adopting a final rule.

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

Gottlieb said the FDA does not want to make nicotine products harder to get.

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

The increased risk of hearing loss decreased within five years after quitting smoking, the researcher added.

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.

'There does seem to be sufficient confidence now to be able to say that e-cigarettes pose a lower level of health risk to smokers than conventional smoking.

The speed with which the FDA acts depends heavily on "the political will of the administration", Sward said.

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