Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

The FDA Wants To Make Your Cigarettes Non-Addictive

Financial Markets Wall Street British American Tobacco The FDA Wants To Make Your Cigarettes Non-Addictive
Sammy Stanley | 07 August, 2017, 00:47

Tobacco stocks have continued to slide after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday announced to plans to slash the amount of nicotine allowed in cigarettes to make them less addictive and easier to quit.

The FDA, however, cannot reduce the nicotine levels in cigarettes to zero, it cannot ban cigarette production either.

Many specialists, including health experts at Public Health England, think e-cigarettes, which contain nicotine but no tobacco, are a lower-risk alternative to smoking.

If cigarettes are no longer addictive, "we can take a more balanced approach to some of the newer innovations that might have the potential to help current combustible cigarette smokers transition off combustible cigarettes and on to products that might be less harmful", Gottlieb said.

The Tobacco Control Act of 2009 gave the FDA the power to limit but not eliminate nicotine.

On Friday, FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced some new cigarette and vaping regulations that the agency will put into place over the next few months or years. These policies will not, however, affect existing requirements for cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products.

For Matthew Myers, who heads Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, it was a good overall move but hit the e-cigarettes delay as "a serious error".

"R Street has been one of the leading proponents of a harm-reduction approach to cigarette addiction, so to read today's announcement feels like vindication that someone is listening", Wade said.

In addition, the U.S. agency said it will consider whether and how to exempt premium cigars from regulation and whether to ban menthol and other flavors in cigarettes, factors known as a leading driver of youth smoking.

"Under expected revised timelines, applications for newly-regulated combustible products, such as cigars, pipe tobacco and hookah tobacco, would be submitted by August 8, 2021, and applications for non-combustible products such as... e-cigarettes would be submitted by August 8, 2022", the US FDA said. Gottlieb is also seeking new rules governing flavored tobacco products and their use among children.

Another reason is that World Health Organization has said that no specific amount of nicotine has yet been identified as the absolute threshold for addiction. It also seeks to create rules balancing safety and e-cigarettes' role in smoking cessation, Gottlieb added.

Medical researchers have shown their concerns towards FDA's limited knowledge about e-cigarettes and vapes and that they still promote it as the next substitute to regular cigarettes without knowing its inverse effects on human health.

In addition, regulations that outline the details on the information the agency expects to be included in the Modified Risk Tobacco Product (MRTP), Premarket Tobacco Applications (PMTAs), and reports to demonstrate Substantial Equivalence (SE) are meant to be released by the agency.

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