FDA seeks research, public input in fresh move to curb nicotine addiction

FDA seeks research, public input in fresh move to curb nicotine addiction

The notice, issued ahead of proposed rule making, says the agency will explore how much nicotine should be allowable, in terms of protecting public health, in cigarettes and whether there are trade-offs the agency should consider.

The evaluation was based on reducing nicotine levels to 0.4 milligrams per gram of tobacco filler, FDA officials told reporters during a teleconference.

Compared to nonsmokers, people who now smoked up to 10 cigarettes a day were 40 percent more likely to develop high frequency hearing loss and 10 percent more likely to develop low frequency hearing loss, the study found.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is seeking public opinion as well as scientific research on the role nicotine plays in cigarette addiction, the agency said on Thursday, as it aims to lower tobacco-related deaths across the country.

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Since the FDA doesn't have the power to completely ban tobacco products from the market, they've settled for enforcing certain limitations on the standard of what's sold, which could result in a major reformulation of tobacco products.

Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, urged the FDA to move quickly and set a hard deadline for lowering nicotine levels not just in cigarettes, but in cigars and all combustible tobacco products.

Lead author Samir Soneji said, E-cigarettes will likely cause more public health harm than public health benefit unless ways can be found to substantially decrease the number of adolescents and young adults who vape and increase the number of smokers who use e-cigarettes to successfully quit smoking.

Robin Koval, chief executive and president of Truth Initiative, another anti-tobacco group, also praised the effort, calling it a "a serious, strong response".

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Gottlieb said on Twitter this is a "historic first step". But it will be important for the FDA also to move forward on other fronts, she said, including on new e-cigarette rules that were delayed last summer by Gottlieb.

A spokesman for Philip Morris International said the company was still reviewing the agency's advance notice.

"Our plan demonstrates a greater awareness that nicotine, while highly addictive, is delivered through products on a continuum of risk", Gottlieb said in a statement.

The study was published March 14 in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research.

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