Earlier in a tweet, Gottlieb said: "Today #FDA took a historic first step to advance our rule-making process to render combustible cigarettes minimally or non addictive through regulation of nicotine levels under the FDA's tobacco product standard".
So could these cigarettes actually work to reduce nicotine addiction and prevent tobacco-related deaths?
We're at a crossroads when it comes to addressing nicotine addiction and smoking in this country - with important new tools to address this devastating public health burden. We're interested in public input on critical questions such as: what potential maximum nicotine level would be appropriate for the protection of public health? Gottlieb said the FDA was also seeking public opinion on whether a product standard should be implemented all at once or gradually. They did not appear to smoke more cigarettes at a sitting, or to inhale more deeply, in an effort to compensate for the lower levels of nicotine they were getting. After that, Gottlieb said, "we're not going to prejudge how long this will take".
One will seek comment on the role that flavors - including menthol - play in initiation, use and cessation of tobacco products.
According to the FDA, cutting nicotine to 0.5 milligrams or less would help about 5 million adult smokers quit within a year, and prevent more than 33 million other people from becoming addicted smokers by 2100.
The Food and Drug Administration is pushing ahead with a plan to make cigarettes less addictive, a move that threatens to upend the tobacco industry and accelerate a shift toward new smoking technology.
Federal health officials took the first step Thursday to slash levels of addictive nicotine in cigarettes, an unprecedented move created to help smokers quit and prevent future generations from getting hooked. Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced the issuance of an "advanced notice of proposed rulemaking", the earliest step in what is likely to be a complicated regulatory effort to lower nicotine levels. A second ANPRM will solicit additional comments and data related to the regulation of premium cigars. This is a pivotal part of our overall public health approach. Nevertheless, tobacco-related illness still kills 480,000 Americans and costs the USA $300bn per year, the FDA said. Marascia said the rule-making process "will not be done quickly". The FDA is on solid ground in attempting to reduce the carnage.
Each day, more than 3,800 youth younger than 18 years old smoke their first cigarette. He envisions the FDA sanctioning a new class of federally reviewed products that deliver nicotine without the toxic byproducts of burning tobacco. Those products must either have the same characteristics as those marketed on/before February 15, 2007, or have different characteristics but do not raise different questions of public health. Although restrictions on how tobacco products are sold are in place in countries all over the world, Vox notes that America might become the first country in the world to force tobacco companies to dial down the addictive potential of the products themselves.