US media reported on Tuesday that the administration of President Joe Biden would announce a new policy that would require tobacco manufacturers to reduce nicotine to non-addictive levels, a move that would deal a blow to the industry. tobacco industry.
If successful, this policy could save millions of lives by the end of this century and shape a future where tobacco is no longer addictive and debilitating.
The Washington Post said the initiative could be announced as early as Tuesday, citing a person familiar with the matter.
The Wall Street Journal adds: The Wall Street Journal reports:
The entire effort is expected to take several years and could be delayed or derailed by litigation, or reversed by a future administration unsympathetic to its goals.
Nicotine is the “feel-good” chemical that draws millions into tobacco products. Thousands of other chemicals found in tobacco and its smoke are responsible for diseases like cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung disease, diabetes and more.
Although smoking is less common in the United States than in Europe and has been declining for years, it is still responsible for 480,000 deaths each year in the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. .
According to CDC data, about 13.7% of all adults in the US currently smoke cigarettes.
Reducing the nicotine content of cigarettes has been a topic of discussion by US authorities for many years.
Former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb in 2017 stated he wanted to continue to tackle the issue and funded a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2018 that showed “cigarettes reduce nicotine compared to tobacco smoke.” Standard nicotine leaves reduce nicotine exposure and dependence and number of cigarettes smoked.”
The FDA found that if the policy were enacted in 2020, it would prevent eight million premature tobacco-related deaths by 2100.
The tobacco industry dismissed the findings and said that people would in fact smoke more.
Biden has made “cancer sparks” central to his agenda, and a nicotine reduction policy will align with its goals, at minimal cost.
According to the CDC, the total economic cost of smoking is more than $300 billion per year, including more than $225 billion in direct adult health care costs and more than $156 billion in lost productivity due to premature death and death. exposure to tobacco smoke.
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