US Government Set to Require Cigarette Manufacturers to Reduce Nicotine to Non-Addictive Levelslocal media reported on Tuesday.
The initiative could be announced as soon as this Tuesday, according to Washington Postwhich cites a source close to the matter.
The measure would require the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to develop and publish regulations, which could then be challenged by the tobacco industry.said by his side The Wall Street Journalwho first reported on the subject.
Implementation of the initiative would take several years and could be delayed or derailed by litigationor be reversed if a future government decides not to go ahead because it is not sympathetic to its objectives.
Nicotine is the substance that leads millions of people to consume cigarettes. Thousands of other chemicals contained in tobacco and its smoke are responsible for diseases such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung disease and diabetes among others.
Although the number of smokers has been declining over the years, Tobacco is responsible for 480,000 deaths a year in the United States.according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Some 13.7% of American adults are current smokers, according to data from the CDC.
The lowering the nicotine level of cigarettes It has been the subject of debate among US authorities for years.
In 2017, then-FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced that he wanted to move the issue forward, funding a study published in 2018 in the New England Journal of Medicine which found that “nicotine-reduced cigarettes (…) reduced exposure and dependence” and “the number of cigarettes smoked.”
The tobacco industry rejects those findings and says that, in fact, people would smoke more.
President Joe Biden has made fighting cancer a centerpiece of his agenda, and nicotine reduction policy would fit within his goals, at minimal cost.
The economic cost of smoking amounts to more than 300,000 million a yearaccording to the CDC, including more than $225 billion in direct health care for adults and more than $156 billion in lost productivity due to premature death and smoke exposure.
(With information from AFP)
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