FDA Looks To Reduce Smoking By Reducing Nicotine

Maximum Nicotine Levels Aim To Promote Quitting

Jennifer Bloodworth
March 19, 2018 - 7:10 pm
Cigarette Butts

PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) — The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is taking a new approach to reducing cigarette use.

FDA officials are starting their anti-smoking plan by limiting the amount of nicotine allowed in tobacco cigarettes. Regulators say 5 million more Americans would quit smoking within a year of the lower limits being implemented.

Tobacco Free Allegheny program coordinator Brittany Huffman told the KDKA Radio Afternoon News Monday that decreasing the highly addictive chemical in cigarettes is a good step.

“We want people to quit all together. This is just one step in a process,” Huffman said. “We need to look at the nicotine level in all types of tobacco products.”  

Huffman says nicotine levels in vape juice have been a concern for years, and that nicotine is unsafe at certain levels.

She suggests tobacco users use gum, lozenges and patches to step down the level of nicotine when trying to quit.

When asked if decreasing nicotine levels would help teen smoking rates, also known as “smoking initiation rate,” Huffman sees a better way by raising the tobacco purchase rate.

Tobacco Free Allegheny is working to introduce legislation to raise the minimum age to 21.

“California just released some studies that they have seen a decrease in the number of youth that have started smoking after they raised the tobacco purchase age to 21,” Huffman said.

She says limiting tobacco access to 18-year-olds who are still in high school also limits tobacco access to their younger teenage friends, and sites studies that indicate brains are not fully developed until the age of 25.

The FDA is seeking public comment on the maximum nicotine level regulation.