FDA Devises New Nicotine Regulation To Help Curb Cigarette Addiction

Quit smoking Clean your house

Quit smoking Clean your house

Thursday's move, called an advance notice of proposed rule-making, is a first step in the complicated federal regulatory process.

"As this process gets underway, we look forward to working with FDA on its science-based review of nicotine levels in cigarettes and to build on the opportunity of establishing a regulatory framework that is based on tobacco harm reduction and recognizes the continuum of risk", said Dr. James Figlar, and executive vice president of research and development for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company.

Despite decades of anti-smoking campaigns, nearly half a million people die in the United States each year from cigarette smoking, which costs almost $300 billion a year in direct health care and lost productivity, the FDA said. A little more than 15 percent of US adults age 18 and older - roughly 37.8 million people - now smoke. This could result in more than eight million fewer tobacco-related deaths.

The possible acceptance of reduced-risk products makes the FDA's announcement a mixed bag for Big Tobacco.

FDA regulators estimate about 5 million more people would quit cigarettes within one year of new nicotine limits.

While "vaping" is much healthier for individuals than smoking, the net effect of e-cigarettes may be to make society more unhealthy, researchers argue.

Ban on bump stocks comes closer to reality
It does not, however, require approval from Congress, where it may have faced opposition due the pro-gun ownership lobby's power. Trump has also backed a ban on "bump stocks", accessories that enable semi-automatic rifles to fire hundreds of rounds a minute.

FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb has noted how he and his organization are "at a crossroads when it comes to addressing nicotine addiction and smoking in this country".

Studies show usage rates are highest among adolescents and young adults who are then four-times more likely to start smoking traditional cigarettes than those who don't vape. "FDA is seeking information about the scope of a nicotine standard, a threshold nicotine level, the nature of implementation, analytical testing methods, technical achievability, and the possible creation of an illicit market". Those include: What potential maximum nicotine level would be appropriate?

"Should a product standard be implemented all at once or gradually?"

A Japanese research team found that smokers have a higher risk to develop hearing loss than those that are non-smokers.

Compared to nonsmokers, people who now smoked up to 10 cigarettes a day were 40 percent more likely to develop high frequency hearing loss and 10 percent more likely to develop low frequency hearing loss, the study found.

While the association between smoking and high frequency hearing loss was stronger than that of low frequency hearing loss, the risk of both high and low frequency hearing loss increased with cigarette consumption, the researcher said.

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