The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that the Biden administration is considering asking tobacco companies to reduce the level of nicotine in all cigarettes sold in the United States to levels deemed non-addictive.
And according to the New York newspaper, which cites “people with knowledge of the matter,” the executive is considering lifting the regulations when the deadline nears for the government to reveal its intentions regarding banning menthol cigarettes.
Before April 29, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must respond in court to a citizen’s petition to ban the sale of menthol tobacco products by announcing whether or not they intend to attempt to enforce a law in this regard, and the possibility of restricting it. Nicotine levels are also considered.
The rule that would deal with the amount of nicotine aims to reduce this substance to such low levels that may lead to the fact that cigarettes stop addiction, with the aim of encouraging millions of tobacco addicts to quit smoking or choose them. Less harmful options, such as nicotine gum or e-cigarettes.
Meanwhile, the ban on menthol products will seek to prevent young people from starting to smoke.
The Wall Street Journal notes, however, that both measures will take years to implement, and potentially face many legal disputes.
The Food and Drug Administration Commissioner under President Donald Trump, Scott Gottlieb, was also planning to try to implement the rules in the United States as part of a tobacco control bill he proposed in 2017, but which was forgotten when he left office in 2019.
Although nicotine is not a direct cause of cancer or other lung diseases, the FDA notes that it causes tobacco addiction, a product associated with the deaths of about 480,000 people annually in the United States.
Information about the feasibility of these measures revealed, resulting in the Altria Group, the parent company of the Malboro brand, plunging more than 6% on Wall Street on Monday.