The United States wants to radically reduce the nicotine level of cigarettes

The initiative is part of a larger health program to reduce cancer deaths, which President Joe Biden has promised to cut by 50% over 25 years.

Joe Biden’s administration announced on Tuesday June 21 that it wants to drastically reduce the nicotine level of cigarettes sold in the United States, in order to reach levels low enough to avoid the addiction of smokers as part of a plan to fight against the cancer.

The American Medicines Agency (FDA), which regulates the tobacco market, must present its proposed rules; these are likely to be fiercely contested by the tobacco industry. “Nicotine is highly addictive”said FDA chief Robert Califf. “Nicotine addiction in burnt products is the primary driver of sustained use of these products Making cigarettes and other burnt tobacco products minimally or non-addictive would help save lives”. The process is expected to take years and could be delayed by litigation or reversed by an upcoming tobacco lobby-friendly administration.

The initiative is part of a larger health program to reduce cancer deaths, which President Joe Biden has promised to cut by 50% over 25 years. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States after cardiovascular disease. Tobacco is the main preventable cause of death in the country with 480,000 tobacco-related deaths recorded each year.

The FDA, which has long been in favor of reducing nicotine levels in cigarettes, pledged in April 2021 to ban the sale of menthol cigarettes, a measure that “will save hundreds of thousands of lives”. Menthol cigarettes are considered a gateway to smoking, encouraging young people in particular to start smoking, and are associated with greater addiction. Donald Trump’s administration previously banned most e-cigarette flavors, while exempting menthol. And at the end of 2019, Congress passed a law raising the minimum age to buy tobacco and electronic cigarettes across the country from 18 to 21.

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