FDA takes steps to reduce smoking rates by lowering nicotine in cigarettes
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb earlier today issued a statement on steps to “dramatically reduce smoking rates by lowering nicotine in combustible cigarettes to minimally or non-addictive levels.”
The FDA issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking, or ANPRM, to explore a product standard to lower nicotine in cigarettes to minimally or non-addictive levels.
“This new regulatory step advances a comprehensive policy framework that we believe could help avoid millions of tobacco-related deaths across the country,” Gottlieb said.
The ANPRM provides a “wide-ranging review of the current scientific understanding about the role nicotine plays in creating or sustaining addiction to cigarettes and seeks comments on key areas, as well as additional research and data for public review, as we continue our consideration of developing a nicotine product standard,” he added.
He went on, “We believe the public health benefits and the potential to save millions of lives, both in the near and long term, support this effort. Notably, new estimates included in the ANPRM that are being published in the New England Journal of Medicine evaluate one possible policy scenario for a nicotine product standard.
If this scenario were implemented, this analysis suggests that approximately 5 million additional adult smokers could quit smoking within one year of implementation.”
Publicly traded companies in the space include Altria Group (MO), British American Tobacco (BTI) and Philip Morris (PM). A beneficiary could be 22nd Century Group (XXII). The latter has a patent on a modified tobacco plant with 95% less nicotine than ordinary tobacco plants.
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