“Given their combination of toxicity, addictiveness, prevalence, and effect on non-users, it’s clear that to maximize the possible public health benefits of our regulation, we must focus our efforts on the death and disease caused by addiction to combustible cigarettes,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement. Currently, there are no limits on nicotine, which occurs naturally in tobacco plants.
The attempt to restrict nicotine would represent a first in global efforts to reduce smoking-related deaths. The FDA estimates the U.S. smoking rate could fall as low as 1.4 percent by 2060, down from the 15 percent of adults who smoke now. The agency also calculates that about 5 million more people would quit cigarettes within one year of implementing limits. The greatest impact would come from preventing young people from ever becoming addicted, the hope is. Limiting nicotine “could help keep future generations of kids who experiment with cigarettes from making the deadly progression from experimentation to addiction,” said Mitch Zeller, the head of the FDA’s tobacco center. Smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths each year. A new battle will begin without soubts with big tobacco companies.