FDA, White House push to reduce nicotine level in cigarettes

The federal government is slated to consider lowering maximum nicotine levels to a minimal or nonaddictive standard in May 2023. If successful, the new measure could lower the risk of addiction and prevent some of the nation's 480,000 annual smoking-related deaths.

Although May 2023 is a tentative date, the potential standard could "reduce youth use, addiction and death," according to the FDA

"Nicotine is powerfully addictive," FDA Commissioner Robert Califf, MD, said in the June 21 press release. "Lowering nicotine levels to minimally addictive or non-addictive levels would decrease the likelihood that future generations of young people become addicted to cigarettes and help more currently addicted smokers to quit."

On April 28, the FDA proposed banning menthol-flavored cigarettes and flavored cigars, which mainly target Black populations and people under 18, according to the agency. 

The process of issuing these rules takes months to years, but the recent director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, Mitch Zeller, told the Washington Post it's "worth the wait."

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