The government may force the reduction of nicotine in cigarettes


April 20, 2021

The Biden administration is considering two initiatives that may affect tobacco companies and American smokers. This Wall Street JournalThe report quoted people familiar with the matter who did not want to be named.

The Wall Street Journal reported that first, the government may require tobacco companies to reduce the nicotine in cigarettes to non-addictive levels. Nicotine does not cause cancer, but it is addictive and causes people to smoke.

Second, the Food and Drug Administration must respond to citizens’ petitions to ban menthol cigarettes before April 29. The Wall Street Journal reported that the FDA must disclose whether it plans to take such actions itself. Many young people started smoking menthol cigarettes.

The Wall Street Journal stated that the Biden administration will take one or two of these measures. The White House and the FDA did not respond to the Wall Street Journal’s request for comment.

During the Trump administration, then FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb took action to reduce nicotine and ban menthol, but after he left the agency in 2019, the initiative was cancelled .

The FDA has considered forcing tobacco companies to reduce nicotine levels for many years, and said it could prevent 8 million deaths by the end of this century.

“Smoking causes more deaths every year than AIDS, alcohol abuse, illegal drug use, homicide, suicide, and motor vehicle accidents combined. For adults aged 35 and above, smoking is the leading cause of cancer deaths of 163,700 people every year; 160,600 people died from cardiovascular and metabolic diseases; and 113,100 people died from lung diseases”, U.S. Food and Drug Administration Said in a 2020 paper on reducing nicotine content.

After the news, tobacco stocks fell on Monday.

Altria, which owns several of the most popular cigarette brands, told CNBC Any action taken by the FDA must be based on science and evidence, and must take into account the real consequences of such actions, including the growth of the illegal market and the impact of hundreds of thousands of jobs from farms to local shops in this country. “

Reynolds US spokesperson Kaelan Hollon told CNBC: “Many consumers mistakenly believe that cigarettes with very low nicotine content are less risky than traditional cigarettes. This is a misunderstanding. This poses a major obstacle in determining the formulation of the proposed low-nicotine cigarettes. .”


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