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FDA Takes Historic Step in Proposing to Reduce Carcinogens in Smokeless Tobacco

(January 19, 2017) - CHICAGO

For more information please contact:

Allison MacMunn
[email protected]

Statement of Harold P. Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association, in response to the release of a proposal from the Food and Drug Administration to reduce carcinogens in smokeless tobacco:

"Today the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) took a historic step by proposing to reduce the levels of carcinogens in all smokeless tobacco products sold in the United States. By requiring a reduction in levels of the cancer-causing N-nitrosonornicotine (NNN) in smokeless tobacco, FDA estimates that over a 20-year period, 12,700 fewer Americans will be diagnosed with and 2,200 fewer Americans will die from oral cancer. FDA also found that the risk of smokeless tobacco users developing other cancers – including lung cancer – may also be reduced.

"Congress gave FDA the authority to require changes to tobacco products currently for sale in order to reduce the death and disease caused by tobacco use. Today marks the first time the FDA has issued such a proposed product standard, which the American Lung Association recognizes as both historic and long overdue. Reducing the levels of carcinogens in smokeless tobacco products is likely to have a particular impact in rural populations, where smokeless tobacco use is twice as high as in urban populations.

"The American Lung Association urges the Trump Administration to move forward with this proposal. It will reduce the number of Americans who develop cancer as a result of smokeless tobacco and will save lives."

For media interested in speaking with an expert about tobacco contact the American Lung Association at [email protected] or 312-801-7628.


About the American Lung Association

The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit:

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