US plan would see big change in cigarettes

In a major blow to major tobacco companies, US President Joe Biden has declared war on global producers by proposing a major change.

In a major blow to major tobacco companies, US President Joe Biden has effectively declared war on global producers by proposing to reduce nicotine to non-addictive levels to prevent people from becoming addicted.

If successful in the US, the new normal could save millions of lives by the end of the century and shape a future where cigarettes are no longer responsible for addiction and debilitating diseases.

It is not yet known what the impact will be on cigarettes sold in Australia, but has reached out to major tobacco companies for further clarification. has also reached out to the Department of Health for comment.

Research has shown that Australian cigarette brands have a lower number of puffs than US brands with comparable tar yields but higher tar and nicotine per puff

The initiative also faces an uphill battle as the Food and Drug Administration must develop and publish a rule likely to be challenged by the industry.

“Nicotine is highly addictive,” FDA Commissioner Robert Califf said in a statement. “Making cigarettes and other burnt tobacco products minimally addictive or non-addictive would help save lives.”

The process is expected to take several years and could be delayed or derailed by lawsuits, or reversed by a future government sympathetic to the tobacco lobby.

Nicotine is the “feel good” chemical that hooks people to cigarettes, chewing tobacco, vaping devices, and other tobacco products.

“Addiction to nicotine in burnt products is the leading cause of long-term use of these products,” the FDA added in its statement.

Thousands of other chemicals in tobacco and its smoke are responsible for diseases such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung disease, diabetes and more.

Although smoking is less common in the United States than in Europe — and even less popular in Australia — and has been declining for years, it still accounts for 480,000 deaths each year in the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Prevention.

About 12.5 percent of all American adults are current cigarette smokers, according to the FDA.

Proposal to limit nicotine levels is supported by research

The announcement was welcomed by tobacco control groups.

“The American Lung Association is pleased to hear of a proposal to reduce the levels of addictive nicotine in cigarettes,” said Harold Wimmer, the group’s CEO.

“Reducing nicotine to non-addictive levels in cigarettes is an important public health step, and we urge the FDA to extend this proposal to all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.”

Reducing the nicotine content of cigarettes has been a topic of discussion among US authorities for years.

The FDA funded a randomized study published in 2018 that found that “cigarettes with less nicotine than cigarettes with standard nicotine reduced nicotine exposure and dependence and number of cigarettes smoked.”

Another FDA-funded study found that if a nicotine reduction policy were introduced by 2020, it could lead to more than 33 million people not becoming regular smokers, and more than eight million deaths from tobacco-related diseases by 2100. can be prevented.

The tobacco industry is rejecting these studies, saying that people would actually start smoking more.

Biden has made a “cancer moonshot” a centerpiece of his agenda and nicotine reduction policies would fit his goals, at minimal cost.

— with AFP

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