Food and Drug Administration delays plan to lower nicotine levels in traditional cigarettes
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a list of regulations it plans to work on in 2020, omitted from that list was a regulation to reduce nicotine levels in traditional cigarettes. That regulation was initially announced by former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb in 2017.
The American Heart Association released the following statement in response to news that this regulation would be delayed:
"We are deeply disappointed the administration appears to have delayed or abandoned a plan to lower the amount of nicotine in traditional cigarettes to minimally addictive or nonaddictive levels. Lowering nicotine levels in combustible tobacco products would dramatically reduce their appeal, causing tobacco use to plummet, reducing tobacco-related illness and death as a result. It would have an enormous impact on the millions of cigarette smokers who are currently addicted to products that kill when used as intended.
The FDA's pullback on nicotine in traditional cigarettes comes just days after reports the administration will fall far short of its previously stated goal to remove flavored electronic cigarettes, which are proven to attract youth, from the market. It comes on the same day the administration's choice to lead the FDA, Dr. Stephen Hahn, would not commit during his confirmation hearing to clearing the market of flavored e-cigarettes.
Good news for the tobacco industry is bad news for public health and the millions of people nationwide who are impacted by tobacco use. We urge the FDA and the administration to ensure that protecting public health, particularly the health of our nation's kids, tops its priority list. The FDA must take action to reduce the scourge of tobacco use in this country, namely by exercising strong regulatory authority over the manufacture, marketing and sale of all tobacco products."