FDA Wants to Lower Nicotine in Cigarettes - Carlos GaminoBy Carlos Gamino

If you’re a smoker – or even if you’re not, as the number of smokers has been drastically declining over the past couple of decades – you might already know that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration plans to force cigarette manufacturers to lower the amount of nicotine in cigarettes to make them less addictive.

The agency said in a statement, “As part of our comprehensive plan on tobacco and nicotine regulation announced last summer, we’re issuing an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) to explore a product standard to lower nicotine in cigarettes to minimally or non-addictive levels. This new regulatory step advances a comprehensive policy framework that we believe could help avoid millions of tobacco-related deaths across the country.”

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the country, so it makes sense that the FDA would want to tackle it – but under an administration that promises to loosen regulations on companies so they’re free to profit, how does that “gel”?

Do You Think the Government Should Regulate the Amount of Tobacco in Cigarettes?

It’s been a hot debate on Capitol Hill for decades – in 2000, the Supreme Court ruled that the FDA could not regulate tobacco under the laws that existed them.

Some lawmakers, including Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said that the FDA couldn’t, and shouldn’t, regulate tobacco simply because it’s not beneficial to public health; others believe that the only agency that can regulate it is the FDA.

Whether or not you smoke, do you believe the government should regulate how much tobacco manufacturers can put into cigarettes? Is the FDA the appropriate agency to oversee this effort, or should government stay out of what tobacco manufacturers do? I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please share them on my Facebook page or on Twitter.

Carlos Gamino