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Cigarette Smoking Could Be Safer as FDA Moves to Strip Nicotine

Cigarette Smoking Could Be Safer as FDA Moves to Strip Nicotine

The agency cannot reduce nicotine levels to zero, nor can it ban cigarettes, but Gottlieb said the FDA would study regulating nicotine levels in an attempt to make cigarettes less addictive.

Gottlieb also stressed that, while e-cigarette companies should have more time to come into compliance with the FDA's regulations, the products should never find their way into the hands and mouths of children. The agency said it may also regulate "kid-appealing flavors" in e-cigarettes and cigars and wants to encourage "new products that may be less unsafe than cigarettes".

Neil Wilson of ETX Capital said it was "hard to overstate" what falling numbers of addicts and less frequent smoking could mean for corporate revenues. "Overall, while viewed as a negative for cigarette manufacturers, we believe this could prove to be an opportunity over the long term for reduced-risk products and, therefore, (the Altria Group/ Phillip Morris International) as they have a unique competitive advantage with iQOS".

British American Tobacco's USA subsidiary, Reynolds American Inc., said it was encouraged by Mr. Gottlieb's comments on the relative risks of different tobacco products.

The agency said it will issue guidance to describe a new enforcement policy "shortly" as it begins a public discussion around lowering nicotine levels.

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids president Matthew Myers praised the overall approach as "a bold and comprehensive vision" but called the e-cigarettes delay "a serious error".

Senate rejects Obamacare repeal without replacement
McCain made a dramatic entrance since his brain cancer diagnosis to cast a vote to debate a repeal bill earlier Tuesday. Rand Paul introduced the amendment - within two years , and come up with a replacement plan in the meantime.

The agency said it also will hold public comment sessions on how to regulate "kid-appealing flavors" that are often added to e-cigarettes and cigars.

What about e-cigarettes?

Altria Group, which sells Marlboro and other cigarettes in the US, said it would be "fully engaged" in FDA's rule-making process.

"It's important to understand that any proposed rule such as a nicotine product standard must be based on science and evidence, must not lead to unintended consequences and must be technically achievable", the company said in a statement.

The news was not just a concern for the U.S. market, he added.


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