Cigarette Smoking Could Be Safer as FDA Moves to Strip Nicotine


FDAToday the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it is giving manufacturers of electronic cigarettes until August 8, 2022, to apply for approval of their products under regulations announced a year ago, which were widely expected to drive most companies out of business.

The agency cannot reduce nicotine levels to zero, nor can it ban cigarettes, but Gottlieb said the FDA would study regulating nicotine levels in an attempt to make cigarettes less addictive.

Marlboro and Parliament maker Altria shares plunged almost 10% in response to the FDA detailing a new approach that would explicitly target nicotine and addiction to cigarettes.

Some antismoking advocates and public health officials been urging the FDA and CDC to provide the public with information on the relative risks of tobacco products.

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

U.S. Food and Drug Administration chief Scott Gottlieb on Friday directed the agency's staff to develop new regulations on nicotine.

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

Until now, USA health officials have stuck with an abstinence-only message to the public.

The FDA also wants new rules to address flavored tobacco products - including menthol - and kids. Under the proposed delay, products would be able to remain on the market while FDA determines whether to green light the products for sale to consumers. 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.

By Friday evening in London, the slide in stocks was poised to wipe billions off the market value of the world's biggest tobacco producers, according to Thomson Reuters.

Wade pointed to a study published this month in the British Medical Journal, using data from the FDA's Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey, which shows e-cigarettes contribute to significant increases in successful quit attempts across the country.