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Smoking revolution: US agency plans to massively reduce nicotine levels in cigarettes


US health agency: Cigarettes are said to contain significantly less nicotine
The nicotine content in cigarettes should be reduced to such an extent that smokers are no longer addicted. This has been announced by the FDA. The measure is intended to help reduce illnesses and deaths from tobacco use.

Drastic reduction in nicotine levels in cigarettes
Every year, around seven million deaths from smoking are recorded worldwide. Smokers fall ill and not only die of lung cancer. Tobacco use also increases the risk of several other types of cancer and other diseases such as smoker's lung or smoker's cough, asthma, chronic bronchitis, heart attack and stroke. The FDA has now announced a measure that could significantly reduce illnesses and deaths from smoking: by drastically reducing the nicotine content in cigarettes.

Protect children better
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced a new, comprehensive tobacco and nicotine regulation plan "to better protect children and significantly reduce tobacco-related illnesses and deaths," the agency said in a statement.

According to the information, the nicotine content in cigarettes should be reduced to such an extent that it no longer makes smokers dependent.

The plans now announced are the most extensive efforts since the Congress in 1965 to identify health risks on the packaging. The White House said that the project would be supported.

Addiction to cigarettes
According to the FDA, the issue of addiction plays a prominent role in current plans.

"The overwhelming proportion of deaths and illnesses from tobacco is caused by cigarette addiction - the only legal product that kills half of its long-term users when used as directed," said FDA chief Scott Gottlieb.

"Without changing course, 5.6 million of today's young people will die prematurely from tobacco use. The cornerstone of our efforts must be to imagine a world in which cigarettes no longer cause or support addiction and in which adults who still need or want nicotine can get it from alternative and less harmful sources, ”said Gottlieb.

According to the FDA notification, measures are also planned to examine how access and use of nicotine medication products can be improved.

Above all, one needs a firm will to get out of addiction, but in some cases, medicinal help can be helpful in weaning, the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) writes on its website.

"Nicotine substitutes in the form of plasters, chewing gum, lozenges or inhalers or prescription medications can be used to support quitting smoking," said the experts.

Share prices crashed
The big tobacco companies apparently don't like the FDA's new plans. According to media reports, some companies' share prices fell after the announcement by the health authority.

The worst hit was the American Altria group, but Philip Morris, British American Tobacco (BAT) and Imperial Brands also saw a price slide, at least temporarily.

However, tobacco companies' share prices had previously reached record levels.

According to a message from the dpa news agency, Neil Wilson of the ETX Capital trading house fears that the impact of the FDA plans on the industry can hardly be overestimated.

First, there is a fear of a significant impact on corporate earnings. On the other hand, other health authorities besides the FDA could take similar measures - for example in Europe. (ad)

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