FDA Announces Nicotine Crack Down



The FDA recently announced it was changing its approach and focus when it comes to cracking down on smoking and the regulation of tobacco products. The head of the Food and Drug Administration just unveiled changes that have a different-than-expected impact on the e-cigarette industry.

For some time retailers selling vape mods and new products were under the impression they were going to be the target of the FDA, and it appears, for now, that isn’t the case. Overall the announcement highlighted the plan to delay reviews of e-cigarettes, and instead cut nicotine levels in cigarettes to what are described as non-addictive levels.

The Takeaway

As mentioned, the vaping and e-cigarette industries have been preparing for intense scrutiny and review, and the FDA’s announcement seems to be a win in many ways for them. To the vaping industry, this seems to show that e-cigarettes are a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes, and they remain mostly unregulated.

There’s also praise for the moves because reducing nicotine levels in traditional cigarettes can cut addiction levels. Scientists have been encouraging the FDA to put a limit on the amount of nicotine in cigarettes for decades, so they see this as a positive.

The FDA doesn’t have the ability to require companies to make no-nicotine cigarettes, but they do have the power to set limits on the maximum amount of nicotine in products.

Non-Addictive Nicotine Levels

Since the objective is to require companies to make cigarettes that are less or non-addictive, most experts feel the nicotine content is going to have to be reduced by anywhere from 85 to 95 percent.

Proponents of the plan are quick to point out that light brands of cigarettes that we saw in the past are different from what’s now being required. Traditional light cigarettes did have less tar and nicotine, but they were made in such a way that what was emitted was diluted with air, so they would register having lower levels of these substances while not actually being that low in either nicotine or tar.

A review published in 2015 in Tobacco Control showed that people ultimately smoked fewer cigarettes with reduced nicotine and had less of a craving for them. The belief is that with this move by the FDA,  more people will start vaping and using e-cigarettes instead, which is being met with praise from the e-cigarette industry.

FDA representatives say the ultimate objective of the move to regulate nicotine in cigarettes is to prevent younger people from becoming addicted if they do smoke for the first time. The FDA also says it has looked at the published literature that exists surrounding these topics and feels that it shows promise toward their efforts of making a change in public health related to cigarettes.

While some e-cigarettes have nicotine, not all do, and there is some research showing the use of these products can help people stop smoking.

The ultimate takeaway from this move is that while the FDA isn’t saying everyone should go out and start vaping, they are moving more toward a recognizing that these options provide an innovative alternative in the fight to end deaths from tobacco use.