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A Step in the Right Direction: Biden Administration Considering Rule to Cut Nicotine in Cigarettes




The Biden Administration’s new proposed policy could be paired with proposal to ban menthols and the FDA must decide whether to pursue menthol ban by April 29. This proposal is aimed to push millions of US smokers to quite or switch to less harmful alternatives.

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The Biden administration is considering requiring tobacco companies to lower the nicotine in all cigarettes sold in the U.S. to levels at which they are no longer addictive, according to people familiar with the matter.

Administration officials are considering the policy as they approach a deadline for declaring the administration’s intentions on another tobacco question: whether or not to ban menthol cigarettes.

The Food and Drug Administration must respond in court by April 29 to a citizens’ petition to ban menthols by disclosing whether the agency intends to pursue such a policy. The Biden administration is weighing whether to move forward on a menthol ban or a nicotine reduction in all cigarettes—or both, the people familiar with the matter said.

The White House and the FDA didn’t immediately comment Monday.

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The nicotine-reduction policy under consideration would lower the chemical in cigarettes to nonaddictive or minimally addictive levels, aiming to push millions of smokers to either quit or switch to less harmful alternatives such as nicotine gums, lozenges or e-cigarettes. A menthol ban, meanwhile, would aim to curb smoking initiation among young people, many of whom start with menthols. Both policies would take years to implement and would likely face legal challenges.

This could be a step in the right direction to deal with effects of Nicotine on the population. Maybe It is time for African leaders to consider proposing policies that could reduce nicotine and other addictive substances in cigarettes.


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