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United States plans to curb nicotine in tobacco — BBCI
29 July 2017, 12:29 | Nellie George
Pascal Le Segretain | Getty Images
Gottlieb, in a speech to FDA employees, also said the agency plans to explore regulating the level of nicotine in conventional cigarettes - in an effort to reduce it so that the products are no longer addictive.
Major tobacco producers saw their share prices tumble on Friday after United States health officials said they would explore ways to cut nicotine levels in cigarettes. Cigarette smoke, he said, not nicotine, is what causes cancer, heart disease and lung disease. The FDA believes that these regulations will lead to less youth becoming addicted to tobacco products in the future.
Under new guidelines, applications for newly regulated products, such as cigars, pipe tobacco and hookah tobacco will need to be submitted by August 8, 2021.
Smoking has always been the leading cause of preventable premature death and illness in the U.S., and is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths a year.
More than 480,000 deaths occur each year in the USA from smoking-related illnesses.
The agency is also seeking public comment on the role that flavors (including menthol) in tobacco products play in attracting new users, as well as additional input and scientific data on the patterns of use and public health impacts from premium cigars. These conditions also pose an excessive financial burden, with direct health care and lost productivity costs totaling almost $300 billion a year.
The decision does take a "continuum of risk" approach that will seek to encourage industry innovation particularly in e-cigs/vapor/reduced-risk products (RRPs) and reduce onerous requirements on safer alternatives to cigarettes, according to Bonnie Herzog, managing director-beverage, household & personal care, tobacco and c-stores for Wells Fargo Securities LLC. This is the first time the administration will attempt to regulate nicotine levels.
"It's hard to overstate what this could mean for the companies affected: non-addictive levels of nicotine would likely mean a lot fewer smokers and of those people who do still light up, smoking a lot less", said Neil Wilson, a senior market analyst with ETX Capital in London.
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