The Food and Drug Administration wants to reduce the nicotine in cigarettes so that it is less addictive. The announcement was unexpected and this sent the shares of tobacco companies plunging down and there was a sparked praise among some public health advocates.
This plan for the first time is an attempt from the government to get the Americans in quitting cigarettes by attacking the substance inside and thus they are trying to reach beyond the warning labels.
The FDA rolled out another major announcement that it has been delaying for several years its regulation on cigars and e-cigarettes, including the vaping flavored products that studies show it is enticing to youth.
FDA’s commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the actions taken now are a part of the comprehensive plan to wean smokers off eventually from the conventional cigarettes and to steer them toward less harmful alternative forms of nicotine such as vaping.
“The overwhelming numbers of death and disease attribute to tobacco and this is caused by addiction to cigarettes that kills half of all the long-term users,” he said.
Some health proponents, expressed caution, pointing out that the proposal of nicotine-reduction may take years to enact and it may also get derailed by major hurdles, including the significant power of tobacco industry.
The FDA is delaying new regulations on e-cigarettes because it requires time to set proper foundation to supervise such products and it believes that the nicotine gives that they crave to make them addictive.
The surprising plan now is to compel the tobacco companies to reduce nicotine in their cigarettes. The tobacco use among youth has fallen to historic lows, thereby sparking hope among public health officials to have a smoke-free generation within reach.