US announces plans to majorly cut nicotine levels in cigarettes to reduce addictiveness
The move could potentially save eight million lives from dying from tobacco-related illnesses.
The USA could be introducing a major new move to cut down on cigarette addiction; capping the amount of nicotine in tobacco products.
The plan was announced by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday (21 June).
The aim of the maximum level is to reduce use in young people, addiction, and premature deaths.
Around 480,000 people die from tobacco-related illnesses each year in the States, making tobacco use the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the country.
It's estimated that tobacco use costs the US economy $300 billion a year in health care and lost productivity.
“Nicotine is powerfully addictive,” said FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf, M.D. “Making cigarettes and other combusted tobacco products minimally addictive or non-addictive would help save lives.
"The U.S. Surgeon General has reported that 87% of adult smokers start smoking before age 18, and about two-thirds of adult daily smokers began smoking daily by 18 years of age.
"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.”
A paper published by the FDA in 2018 projected that a potential standard could result in over 33 million people not becoming regular smokers, a smoking rate reduced from 12.5% to 1.4%, and more than eight million fewer deaths from tobacco-related illnesses by 2100.
Just like in the States, smoking is the leading cause of avoidable death in Ireland.
According to the HSE, nearly 6,000 people die in Ireland each year from the effects of smoking, with thousands of others diagnosed from smoking-related diseases.
The public was recently urged to avoid certain e-cigarettes from the Aroma King range of disposable vapes.
In a statement, the health service said the products are non-compliant with EU tobacco legislation, while also asking retailers to cease selling them.