JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Biden administration is writing a plan that would order cigarette manufacturers to cut nicotine levels. This is part of a larger strategy to cut cancer deaths in half within 25 years.
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There are a lot of obstacles for the plan to succeed.
The Food and Drug Administration must first publish the rule. It will then invite the public to comment on it before issuing a final ruling. However, the largest hurdle might be the possibility of tobacco companies suing. This could then lead to a years-long battle in the courts.
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This is not the first time that a plan to lower nicotine levels was introduced.
In 2017, the Trump administration decided to put off a similar proposal brought up by the FDA.
Discussions like the current plan being written by the White House have been circulating since 1994. The main goal has been to slowly deter the public from nicotine.
The Wall Street Journal published the following points on the matter:
Lowering nicotine in cigarettes has been a subject of discussion inside the FDA since the 1990s. In 2009, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act authorized the FDA to mandate such a change – with the stipulation that the policy be based on scientific evidence, a caveat that slowed the process for years.
FDA officials have said reducing nicotine in cigarettes to very low levels would prevent future generations from becoming addicted to cigarettes, and prompt current smokers to quit.
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According to a number of researchers, such as Neal L Benowitz and Jack E Henningfield, opinion is split if cutting nicotine levels would cause a significant number of smokers to kick the habit.
According to the CDC almost a half-million Americans die each year from smoking-related illnesses. The American Cancer Society says that tobacco use is the No. 1 cause of preventable deaths in the United States.
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