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FDA Moves to Reduce Amount of Nicotine in Cigarettes

March 20, 2018

The head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is advancing a plan to reduce the amount of nicotine in cigarettes to “minimally or non-addictive levels.”

In a statement released March 15, FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said he is asking for a regulatory review to explore a product standard to lower nicotine in cigarettes to minimally or non-addictive levels.

“This new regulatory step advances a comprehensive policy framework that we believe could help avoid millions of tobacco-related deaths across the country,” Gotlieb said in the written statement.

The FDA commissioner took a personal approach to addressing tobacco harm, saying it is the only legal consumer product that, when used as intended, will kill half of all long-term users. Despite a change in culture over the past few decades, the FDA notes tobacco use still kills more than 480,000 Americans every year.

Rushford medical director Dr. J. Craig Allen says minors are the most vulnerable, noting that it takes about 10 seconds for nicotine to get into a user’s brain.

“The quicker the addictive substance gets up to the brain, and the more potent, the more of the addictive substance that is there, the quicker you will transition to becoming dependent and developing a full-blown addiction,” said Dr. Allen, noting that he supports this move by the FDA commissioner.

Learn more about your smoking cessation options here.