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FDA takes fresh step towards curbing US nicotine addiction

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Health Desk: 16 March 2018: The US Food and Drug Administration took a fresh step on Thursday towards setting a maximum nicotine level for tobacco products in a bid to lower tobacco-related deaths across the country, saying it would collect public comment and scientific research over the next three months.

The move was part of a comprehensive plan the agency announced last summer to regulate tobacco and nicotine, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said on a call with reporters. That plan marked a major shift designed to give adult smokers a wider range of alternatives, including potentially less harmful e-cigarettes.

The agency is seeking to determine a level of nicotine in cigarettes and other tobacco products that would be minimally addictive or nonaddictive, according to a draft proposal.

It hopes setting such a standard would also help prevent teenagers who experiment with tobacco from becoming addicted.

The FDA estimates that setting such a standard would help 5.0 million smokers quit within a year and prevent more than 33 million teens and young adults from becoming regular smokers by the year 2100.

“There is no other single action our country can take that would prevent more young people from smoking or save more lives,” said Matthew L. Myers, president of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.