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m3n4.net August 20, 2018


FDA announces push to slash nicotine in cigarettes

16 March 2018, 01:56 | Louis Holland

Quit smoking Clean your house

Quit smoking Clean your house

"When I returned to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration previous year, it was immediately clear that tackling tobacco use - and cigarette smoking in particular - would be one of the most important actions I could take to advance public health", the statement said.

The FDA does not have the power to ban cigarettes or tobacco products, but was given some powers of regulation over them by Congress in 2009.

"As we explore this novel approach to reducing the death and disease from combustible cigarettes, it's critical that our policies reflect the latest science and is informed by the input we receive from our meetings with stakeholders, comments to the open public docket and future opportunities for comment", he said. But it will be important for the FDA also to move forward on other fronts, she said, including on new e-cigarette rules that were delayed last summer by Gottlieb.

The new move could send national smoking rates plummeting, from the current 15 percent of adults who smoke to as low as 1.4 percent. Use among young people is also historically low, although smoking continues to cause 480,000 deaths annually in the U.S.

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"In fact, cigarettes are the only legal consumer product that, when used as intended, will kill half of all long-term users", he said. Should a new standard be implemented all at once or gradually? For instance, will smokers turn to illicitly imported products, or simply smoke more cigarettes?

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

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced the change in a statement.

"We must make it possible for current adult smokers who still seek nicotine to get it from alternative and less harmful sources", he said.

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Tobacco executives from Altria and R.J. Reynolds expressed interest in the FDA proposal and vowed to work closely with the agency on what is expected to be a process lasting several years.

Gottlieb said the FDA would also be seeking comment on more potential rules, including possibly limiting menthol in cigarettes.

While "vaping" is much healthier for individuals than smoking, the net effect of e-cigarettes may be to make society more unhealthy, researchers argue.

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