The federal authorities announced that they are planning to reduce nicotine levels in cigarettes to non-addictive levels to reduce smoking-related deaths in the country.
According to the Biden administration’s notice, the Food and Drug Administration will propose a maximum allowed level of nicotine in cigarettes and other tobacco products by May 2023, as reported by the Washington Post.
After the notice, the FDA released a statement that the reduced amount of nicotine in cigarettes will allow people to quit easily. People could be prevented from becoming regular smokers, and deaths could be reduced, the agency said.
President Biden promised in the cancer moonshot to reduce cancer death rates by 50 percent in the next twenty-five years. Currently, about 480,000 people die of smoking-related issues every year in the United States.
For many years, the FDA has supported the idea of reducing nicotine levels in cigarettes. The federal agency has strongly supported the Biden administration’s decision.
However, many experts believe that if Biden leaves the office in 2024, then the new President could ask FDA to stop the work. Moreover, the FDA might also face some barriers from the tobacco industry.
According to the President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, an antismoking group, Matthew L. Myers, slashing nicotine levels “would produce the greatest drop in cancer rates and make the biggest difference” of any public health measure under discussion by the administration.
Also, the decision by the authorities received praise from the American Heart Association. The association said that this is one of the most meaningful actions that the FDA can take to reduce tobacco use in the US.