The White House and Food and Drug Administration both announced plans this week to help more Americans avoid nicotine addiction. The plans could have dramatic impacts on two industries that rely on nicotine in their products.
On Tuesday, the White House rolled out its plan to reduce the amount of nicotine in cigarettes and other finished tobacco products.
The FDA regulates the tobacco industry, and the White House wants the FDA to create a product standard to establish a maximum nicotine level in cigarettes. Nicotine is not what makes cigarettes so deadly, but it is what makes them addictive.
“Making cigarettes and other combusted tobacco products minimally addictive or non-addictive would help save lives,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf said.
Smoking kills 480,000 Americans every year, and President Joe Biden made reducing cancer deaths an administration priority when he announced his Cancer Moonshot Campaign in February.
It could take up to a year for the FDA to come up with a proposed rule to create a maximum nicotine level in cigarettes. It might only be days, however, before the FDA issues its ruling on another nicotine delivery system, Juul’s electronic cigarettes.
Juul previously sold fruity and sweet flavored e-cigs, a practice which led to lawsuits claiming Juul was marketing to minors. Juul cut back its product line to just tobacco and menthol flavored products, but the company has been fighting to keep even those products on the market.
According to reporting from the Wall Street Journal, the FDA might announce the removal of all Juul products from the market in the coming days.
Reuters contributed to this report.