Lung Association: FDA Proposal to Lower Nicotine Levels in Cigarettes Important Step for Public Health

Today, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it plans to propose a rule requiring tobacco companies to reduce the nicotine levels in all cigarettes sold in the United States. The American Lung Association’s National President and CEO Harold Wimmer issued the following statement: 

“The American Lung Association is pleased to hear that a proposal is coming to reduce the levels of addictive nicotine in cigarettes. Reducing nicotine to non-addictive levels in cigarettes is an important step forward for public health, and we urge FDA to extend this proposal to include all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. 

“Reducing the nicotine levels in cigarettes can dramatically reduce the number of young people who become addicted when they are only experimenting, as well as increase quit attempts and cessation. The Lung Association looks forward to seeing the proposed rule and providing our comments to FDA on this important proposal.

“It was 13 years ago tomorrow that President Obama signed the Tobacco Control Act into law, which gave FDA the authority to regulate tobacco products, including requiring changes to existing products already for sale. The Lung Association is very pleased to see that FDA is using its authority to protect the public health from these addictive and deadly products. 

However, in light of FDA’s intention to remove menthol cigarettes from the marketplace and move forward with a rule reducing nicotine in cigarettes, it is even more important that they reject any applications for menthol flavored low-nicotine cigarettes, such as the one recently granted to 22nd Century. The Lung Association has also repeatedly urged FDA to reject any premarket tobacco product application for e-cigarettes with high levels of nicotine.”

About Nicotine 
Nicotine is what hooks and sustains people to tobacco products. Cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco and nearly all e-cigarettes contain nicotine. People who use tobacco products quickly become addicted to nicotine and have a very hard time stopping. Nicotine negatively impacts brain development and changes brain chemistry. Human brain development continues until the age of 25, and nicotine use during adolescence and young adulthood has been associated with lasting cognitive and behavioral impairments, including memory, attention and learning.

For media interested in speaking with an expert, contact the American Lung Association at [email protected] or at 312-940-7001. 

For more information, contact:

Jill Dale
[email protected]

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