Biden Administration Targets Removal of Most Nicotine From Cigarettes
Although the change would be several years in the making, federal health officials are mapping out what could be the biggest government campaign to curtail smoking in nearly 25 years. The plan, which the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expects to couch in a proposed rule next May, seeks to eliminate almost all nicotine from cigarettes sold in the United States. Officials point to government-sponsored research that shows people smoke fewer cigarettes and become less dependent on them when the products contain about 95% less nicotine. "Lowering nicotine levels to minimally addictive or nonaddictive levels would decrease the likelihood that future generations of young people become addicted to cigarettes and help more currently addicted smokers to quit," says FDA Commissioner Robert Califf, MD. An FDA study published in 2018 estimates that a nicotine-reduction plan could lead as many as 13 million additional adult smokers to quit within 5 years of the rule taking effect. The tobacco industry is opposed to the proposed policy — which it argues will not advance smoking cessation efforts but will hurt product growers and retailers. They also warn the plan will deepen the black market for products and widen consumer confusion surrounding the health risks of low-nicotine cigarettes.
Read more on the Wall Street Journal.