Washington, D.C. –The FDA today announced a plan to move forward to develop a regulation that would mandate a reduction in nicotine in combustible cigarettes to a very low level. The FDA justified the move by stating that such a mandate could help current smokers quit, and prevent experimental users from becoming regular smokers.
The Consumer Choice Center’s Senior Fellow Jeff Stier criticized the move, stating that the FDA is seeking science to back up its policy, rather than crafting policy based on science. Stier explained “It seems that FDA is pushing a policy agenda and looking for science to support it. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?”
“The FDA concedes that a ban on today’s cigarettes could have significant unintended consequence, leading to compensatory smoking, where smokers inhale more dangerous chemicals in an effort to get the nicotine they crave. The agency also fails to address the obvious risk that this potential change would cause an explosion in the already-significant illicit trade in cigarettes,” Said Stier
“Although the FDA is seeking comments on these issues, today’s announcement makes it clear that the agency is intent on moving forward with the plan. The FDA should instead be working quickly to develop product standards and create transparent rules which would make it easier to bring lower-risk non-combustible nicotine products such as e-cigarettes and heat-not-burn tobacco to market.”
“The agency needs to do a better job making sure consumers are fully informed about the differing risks of an emerging and diverse range of lower-risk nicotine products. In order for that to happen, the FDA, the Centers for Disease Control, local governments and leading public health organizations will have to correct the widespread misperceptions they have created about lower-risk products.”
[Originally published at Consumer Choice Center]