FDA moves on nicotine levels in combustibles, while leaving e-cigs alone

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this week took a step closer to regulating nicotine levels in combustible cigarettes, but excluded vapour products from its proposals and indeed predicted that a low-nicotine regime might encourage more smokers toward electronic alternatives.

The federal agency is issuing an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) entitled Tobacco Product Standard for Nicotine Level of Combusted Cigarettes, in which it outlines its thinking on dramatically reducing the nicotine content of combustibles – possibly as low as 0.3-0.5 mg/g, against a typical 15.8 mg/g for normal-strength cigarettes today.

The ANPRM is confined to combustible products, and indeed the FDA says that if a low-nicotine regime were enacted, “former smokers that choose to switch completely to a potentially less harmful nicotine delivery product (e.g., ENDS) to maintain their nicotine dose also would, to the extent that those products result in less harm, significantly reduce their risk of tobacco-related death and disease”.

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