FDAToday the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it is giving manufacturers of electronic cigarettes until August 8, 2022, to apply for approval of their products under regulations announced past year, which were widely expected to drive most companies out of business. The center of this effort, he says, must be a shared vision for "a world where cigarettes would no longer create or sustain addiction, and where adults who still need or want nicotine could get it from alternative and less harmful sources".
The FDA also announced it will allow e-cigarette companies several more years before having to get fda approval for products marketed after February 2007.
The agency said it also would issue a new enforcement policy for newly-regulated products such as e-cigarettes. The FDA believes that these regulations will lead to less youth becoming addicted to tobacco products in the future.
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb outlined a package of measures the agency plans to explore, embracing the idea that e-cigarettes may benefit public health by reducing smoking rates.
The FDA points to the 480,000 deaths each year in the United States caused by tobacco, saying it's the leading cause in preventable diseases and deaths.
British American Tobacco said it was not surprised by the FDA move to cut nicotine.
Until now, USA health officials have stuck with an abstinence-only message to the public.
The agency says the new plan isn't meant to simply snuff out a multi-billion dollar industry, but rather to encourage companies to develop innovative products that prove to be less unsafe than cigarettes. It also costs society financially, with direct health care and lost productivity costs totaling almost $300 billion a year. This costly process would, in practice, have resulted in the near complete elimination of harm-reduction tools like e-cigarettes from the market.
Gottlieb said the FDA would consider regulating "kid-appealing flavors" in e-cigarettes and cigars, while possibly banning menthol in cigarettes. Shares of Gillia tumbled 7% while British American Tobacco (BTI - Free Report) stock plunged 9%.