FDA moves to cut nicotine in cigarettes to help smokers kick habit

FDA moves to cut nicotine in cigarettes to help smokers kick habit

FDA moves to cut nicotine in cigarettes to help smokers kick habit

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 15 percent of USA adults still smoke.

Those that smoke up to 10 cigarettes per day were 40 percent more likely to develop high-frequency hearing loss and 10 percent more likely to develop low-frequency hearing loss.

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. Now there are no limits.

"We're taking a pivotal step today that could ultimately bring us closer to our vision of a world where combustible cigarettes would no longer create or sustain addiction -? making it harder for future generations to become addicted in the first place and allowing more now addicted smokers to quit or switch to potentially less harmful products", said FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb.

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But tobacco makers were forced to admit to deliberately making cigarettes more addictive in an ad campaign that is now running. Still, smoking causes 480,000 deaths annually in this country.

The agency published its formal notice online Thursday to begin regulating nicotine in what's expected to be a multi-year process littered with potential obstacles.

The agency is asking for public comment on several aspects of the issue.

The tobacco industry has been advertising electronic cigarettes as a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes since they were first introduced in the early 2000s, but researchers at Dartmouth College estimate they could cost 1.5 million years of life.

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The move would be a big blow to Big Tobacco, which has successfully fought off attempts to regulate how cigarettes are formulated.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb invited the public to weigh in on details of the proposed regulation, including the correct amount of nicotine, what risks the new policy could pose and how fast it's rolled out. He is also curious as to whether or not smokers will consume more cigarettes because of lower nicotine levels, or result to contraband tobacco if all else fails.

The agency cited research that could support reducing levels of nicotine to 0.3 to 0.5 milligrams per cigarette. One study limited nicotine to less than 1 milligram per gram of tobacco.

Cigarette smoke can also kill people who don't even smoke themselves, Gottlieb noted.

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