Biden Administration Planning to Remove Most Nicotine from Cigarettes by 2023
New move could cut down smoking across U.S
President Joe Biden’s administration plans to remove almost all nicotine from cigarettes in an attempt to get people to quit.
A new proposal by The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will limit nicotine in May 2023, as the Wall Street Journal reports.
The rule “would establish a maximum nicotine level in cigarettes and certain finished tobacco products.”
The Biden administration revealed the plan on Tuesday as part of the “unified agenda,” which is a collection of planned federal regulations released biannually.
"Nicotine is powerfully addictive. Lowering nicotine levels to minimally addictive or non-addictive levels would decrease the likelihood that future generations of young people become addicted to cigarettes and help more currently addicted smokers to quit," FDA Commissioner Robert Califf said in a statement.
According to Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data, roughly 12.5 percent of Americans were cigarette smokers in 2020.
The CDC notes:
Nearly 480,000 Americans die of smoking-related causes annually, making cigarette deaths the number one preventable death in the country.
An additional 7,300 nonsmokers die from lung cancer caused by second hand smoke.
As Breibart reported:
Biden’s attempt to get Americans to stop smoking cigarettes is aligned with his cancer moonshot, where his administration plans to cut the cancer death rate by 50 percent over the next 25 years.
Medical students and staff from a hospital march during an awareness rally against the use of tobacco on World No Tobacco Day in Hyderabad on May 31, 2022. (NOAH SEELAM/AFP via Getty)
Although nicotine is the addictive substance found in cigarettes and does not directly cause cancer, Biden’s administration is hopeful the FDA regulation would limit the use of tobacco products that contain cancer-causing chemicals.
The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009 authorized the FDA to limit nicotine levels in cigarettes, provided scientific studies back the regulation.
Government-funded research found people smoke fewer cigarettes with lower nicotine levels.
Biden announced a proposal to ban menthol cigarettes, which make up a large t portion of cigarette sales.
FDA chief Scott Gottlieb took also moved to limit nicotine in cigarettes, but former President Donald Trump’s administration dropped the plan not long after.
Opponents of the move believe the ban would open up a black market for cigarettes.
Large cigarette companies warn low nicotine cigarettes is not conclusive, argueing the real solution is to provide FDA-approved alternatives to traditional cigarettes currently on the market.
“We do actually support the overarching goal here, which is to transition smokers from cigarettes to smoke-free products,” said Murray Garnick, general counsel for Altria, one of the nation’s largest tobacco companies.
“We just think that the better way is to create a robust market of FDA-authorized smoke-free products.”