On Friday the 28th of July 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), had announced a new comprehensive plan for tobacco and nicotine regulation, which included lowering the amount of nicotine in cigarettes in order to minimize addiction.

Health experts had expressed concern that VLNC’s would be delivering the same amount of harmful chemicals without the benefits perceived by the smoker, hence could possibly lead them to smoke more.

Then FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, had said that he wanted to reduce nicotine levels in all combustible tobacco products near zero. “The effort to lower nicotine in cigarettes is a central part of our effort to reduce death and disease from tobacco,” said Gottlieb in response to the recent announcement. “It’s critical we all maintain our commitment to these public health goals.”

VLNCs (very low nicotine cigarettes), were to contain nicotine at levels that do not produce physiological effects. However public health experts had expressed concern that these cigarettes would be delivering the same amount of harmful chemicals, without the benefits perceived by the smoker, hence could possibly lead smokers to consume more.

Redirecting efforts

The latest development on the matter, two years after the original proposal was unveiled, is that the Department of Health and Human Services has dropped it. FDA spokesman Michael Felberbaum, said that putting these plans aside “does not mean the agency does not consider them a priority or will not continue to work on their development,” adding that the agency “has focused on regulations that reflect its most immediate priorities.

Former FDA commissioner, Robert Califf, said that this recent change has marked “a sad day for future grandchildren. They will have fewer grandparents because of this.”

Read Further: Los Angeles Times

The risk in selling reduced-nicotine cigarettes

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