In a blow to big tobacco companies, US President Joe Biden has declared war on global producers by proposing a big change.
In a blow to big tobacco companies, US President Joe Biden has effectively declared war on global producers by proposing to reduce nicotine to non-addictive levels in an effort to keep people from getting addicted.
If it achieves its goals, America’s New Normal could save millions of lives by the end of the century and shape a future where cigarettes are no longer responsible for addiction and debilitating disease.
It is not yet clear how this decision would affect cigarettes sold in Australia, but news.com.au has contacted major tobacco companies for further clarification. News.com.au has also contacted the Department of Health for comment.
Research found that Australian cigarette brands have lower puff counts than American brands with Similar tar yields but more tar and nicotine per puff.
The initiative also faces a big uphill battle as it requires the Food and Drug Administration to craft and then publish a rule that will likely be challenged by industry.
“Nicotine is highly addictive,” FDA Commissioner Robert Califf said in a statement. “Making cigarettes and other burnt tobacco products minimally or non-addictive would help save lives.
The process is expected to take several years and could be delayed or derailed by litigation, or reversed by a future administration favorable to the tobacco lobby.
Nicotine is the “feel good” chemical that gets people hooked on cigarettes, chewing tobacco, vaping devices and other tobacco products.
“Nicotine addiction in burn products is the primary driver of sustained use of these products,” the FDA added in its statement.
Thousands of other chemicals in tobacco and its smoke are responsible for diseases such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung disease, diabetes, etc.
Although smoking is less common in the United States than in Europe – and it is even less popular in Australia – and has been declining for years, it is still responsible for 480,000 deaths a year in the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to the FDA, approximately 12.5% of all American adults are cigarette smokers.
Proposal to limit nicotine levels is backed by research
The announcement was well received by tobacco control groups.
“The American Lung Association is delighted to hear that a proposal is coming to reduce levels of addictive nicotine in cigarettes,” said group CEO Harold Wimmer.
“Reducing nicotine to nonaddictive levels in cigarettes is an important advance for public health, and we urge the FDA to expand this proposal to include all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.”
Reducing the nicotine content of cigarettes has been a topic under discussion for years among US authorities.
The FDA funded a randomized trial published in 2018 that found “reduced nicotine cigarettes compared to standard nicotine cigarettes reduced nicotine exposure and dependence and the number of cigarettes smoked.”
Another FDA-funded study found that if a nicotine-reduction policy were adopted in 2020, it could prevent more than 33 million people from becoming regular smokers and prevent more than eight million deaths from related diseases. to tobacco by 2100.
The tobacco industry rejects these studies and claims that people would actually smoke more.
Biden has made a “cancer moonshot” a centerpiece of his agenda, and the nicotine-reduction policy would fit his goals, at minimal cost.
— with AFP
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