FDA to target addictive levels of nicotine in cigarettes

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration wants to reduce nicotine levels in cigarettes and move smokers toward potentially less harmful e-cigarettes, in a major regulatory shift announced on Friday that sent tobacco stocks plunging.

In a report issued Friday morning, the FDA said it plans "to begin a public dialogue about lowering nicotine levels in combustible cigarettes to non-addictive levels".

Marlboro maker Altria Group Inc. fell 10%, while British American Tobacco PLC, maker of Camel cigarettes, tumbled 8.5%.

The FDA says tobacco is responsible for 480,000 American deaths each year, and $300bn (£228bn) in medical costs. However, the FDA views these regulations as a way to encourage development of innovative tobacco products that may be less unsafe than cigarettes.

To help spur industry innovation, products that were on the market as of August 8th, 2016, do not need to submit applications until 2022.

Finally, the FDA proposes to cut to cigarette nicotine with the objective of anticipating a great many tobacco-related passing's a year.

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Other e-cigarette regulations, such as a ban on the sale of the devices to minors, will remain in place.

Cigarettes kill 480,000 people in the USA each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

British American, which owns Reynolds American, said it was "encouraged" by the FDA's comments and the effort to reduce nicotine "do not come as a surprise to us". These conditions also pose an excessive financial burden, with direct health care and lost productivity costs totaling almost $300 billion a year.

More than 480,000 deaths occur each year in the USA from smoking-related illnesses. Tobacco companies will without a doubt fight the FDA's attempts to lower nicotine levels and the other new regulations on cigarettes in the works. Nearly 90% of adult smokers started smoking before the age of 18 and 2,500 youths have their first cigarette every day, the agency said.

Among those measures are further development of new tobacco products that are less risky than cigarettes, as will as considering whether or not it is wise to have menthol and other flavored tobacco products.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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