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US: Plan to reduce nicotine in cigarettes to "non-addictive levels"

 The amount of nicotine in cigarettes sold in the US is going to be reduced to a minimum or at least non-addictive levels. What the plan provides.


The White House announced on Tuesday (21/06) that it was preparing a plan to significantly reduce nicotine in cigarettes in an effort to drastically reduce cancer deaths.


However, this measure, which is in the immediate plans of Joe Biden, is likely to provoke reactions in the tobacco industry.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smoking remains the leading cause of death in the United States, with 480,000 deaths each year.


Nicotine is a highly addictive chemical associated with the "good feeling" that tobacco products offer.


In a statement, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) referred to the plan for a proposed product "standard" that would set a maximum nicotine level in cigarettes and "finish" some other tobacco products, according to the BBC.


"Making cigarettes and other tobacco products less addictive or non-addictive would help save lives," said FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert M. Califf.


He went on to say that lowering nicotine levels could reduce the likelihood of young people becoming addicted to cigarettes and help current smokers quit.


By 2020, an estimated 30.8 million adults in the United States were smoking cigarettes. U.S. General Surgery estimates that 87% of adult smokers start by age 18.


The initiative comes after the Biden government set targets in February to reduce the cancer death rate by at least 50% over the next 25 years as part of its Cancer Moonshot campaign.


However, experts say it could take at least a year for the FDA, which deals with the regulatory framework for cigarettes, to issue a proposed rule that could later be delayed due to reactions, according to the Washington Post.


The tobacco industry, which is likely to react strongly to such a major change in its products, could face the final regulation - when it is formulated - in court.


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