FDA moves to reduce level of nicotine in cigarettes

A smoker is seen holding his cigarette during a smoke break outside a building in North Vancouver B.C. Monday Jan. 20 2014

The change does have people wondering, if the amount of nicotine in cigarettes is reduced wouldn't people want to smoke more? Accelerating the decline of smoking in the US will probably weigh on sales, but cigarette makers have already been racing to find new moneymakers. According to the FDA, cutting the addictive substance in cigarettes could result in 5 million fewer adult smokers in the first year, prevent 33 million people from picking up the habit and result in over 8 million fewer tobacco-related deaths over the same period.

In one scenario, the FDA estimates the U.S. smoking rate could fall as low as 1.4 per cent by 2060, down from the 15 per cent of adults who smoke now. The FDA estimates nearly 5 million people or more will quit smoking within a year of this new change.

The FDA is seeking additional research and data for public review, Gottlieb said, as it tries to develop a nicotine product standard.

The greatest impact, though, would come from preventing young people from ever becoming addicted, they said. "15% of Americans are smoking, and 1200 Americans die every day from smoking, and at this time everyone wants to be healthier and it's time to make positive changes", said Le.

But Bauld warns, "However, there will be big challenges implementing this in the real world".

Major tobacco players such as Altria Group and British American Tobacco are grappling with sales declines in the USA market and hoping to recoup revenue through novel tobacco and nicotine products such as e-cigarettes.

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Sources confirmed that more than 4,29,500 boys and 1,95,500 girls in this country smoke cigarette each day. That was sometimes the case with "light" and "low tar" cigarettes marketed in decades past.

The plan to restrict nicotine in cigarettes is part of a broader anti-smoking push outlined by FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb. He envisions the FDA sanctioning a new class of federally reviewed products that deliver nicotine without the toxic byproducts of burning tobacco.

According to the report, which was released last week, 82.12 billion cigarettes were produced in India in 2016.

"In carefully controlled trials, there is some evidence it could help smokers cut down or quit".

"The jury is still out on the value of those products as alternatives", Gottlieb said, but he added there are opportunities for other potentially lower-risk products.

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