FDA Pursues Plan to Lower Nicotine in Cigarettes

Joy Montgomery
August 7, 2017

Tobacco stocks fell on Friday after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced plans to target nicotine levels.

More than R200bn was wiped off the value of British American Tobacco (BAT) shares at one point on Friday after United States regulators signalled their plan to cut nicotine in cigarettes to non-addictive levels.

If cigarettes are no longer addictive, "we can take a more balanced approach to some of the newer innovations that might have the potential to help current combustible cigarette smokers transition off combustible cigarettes and on to products that might be less harmful", Gottlieb said. An Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) is indented to be issued by the agency, through which seeking input on possible benefits on public health as well as any probable negative effects of decreasing the nicotine in cigarettes can be done.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, FDA Commissioner, delivered the address, which introduced a new era of tobacco regulation for the agency.

"Shares of major tobacco companies, which have been reaping growing profits in the USA market even as the number of smokers dwindles, tumbled Friday on the surprise move", the newspaper reports.

In the US, the major cause of preventable deaths as well as diseases is tobacco. The risk of developing lung cancer, heart disease, stroke, emphysema, mouth cancer, loss of limbs, arterial disease and many other diseases associated with tobacco is reduced compared to the danger if you continue to smoke. "We are well prepared and look forward to participating in a thorough process to develop a comprehensive plan for tobacco and nicotine regulation", a British American Tobacco spokesperson said in a Reuters report.

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Among the complaints were three crashes and 41 injuries, mostly loss of consciousness, nausea and headaches. Customers with concerns can call a dedicated hotline at (888) 260-5575 or visit their local dealer.

Your cigarette addiction may soon go up in smoke. Instead, the less nicotine, the less addictive it is, leading to less smoking.

Regions outside the USA present additional potential for 22nd Century to partner or licensed the company's low nicotine cigarette platform.

In addition, regulations that outline the details on the information the agency expects to be included in the Modified Risk Tobacco Product (MRTP), Premarket Tobacco Applications (PMTAs), and reports to demonstrate Substantial Equivalence (SE) are meant to be released by the agency.

Favoring harm reduction through e-cigarettes and other non-combustible products is the clear position of the FDA, rather than general opposition to e-cigarettes.

Gottlieb also held out the possibility that premium cigars would be exempted from FDA oversight, but the overall outlook for traditional tobacco products appeared grim.

The FDA rolled out a second major announcement at the same time.

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