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For the first time in history, the Food and Drug Administration plans to regulate the level of nicotine in cigarettes, attempting to bring it down to “non-addictive” levels. The move, announced Friday, was praised by scientists — who also noted that there’s no consensus on what a “non-addictive” level of nicotine is.

“I guess I personally would frame it as less addictive, because I’m not sure about that, ‘non-addictive,’” said Eric Donny, director of the Center for the Evaluation of Nicotine in Cigarettes at the University of Pittsburgh, who noted that FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb did say that he wanted to reduce the nicotine level in cigarettes until they were “minimally or non-addictive.”


Gottlieb did not address the level of nicotine that would be required to render a cigarette “non-addictive.” An agency press officer said that they didn’t have any more information to share on specific levels.

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  • This is a terrible idea. Why not limit the ammount of nitrosomines (carcinogens) in cigarettes, instead of the nicotine? That’s exactly what the Swedish government does with snus. Nicotine is far from the most harmful chemical in tobacco. I’m 100% in favor of reducing the harm of cigarettes as much as possible, but this is absolutely not the way to do it.

    This will result in exactly the same sort of problems that happened with alcohol and marijuana prohibition. There will be a huge black market that will emerge, along with all the violent crime that goes along with black markets.

    This will also cause a ton of people to go into nicotine withdrawal all at once, which will certainly have a high economic cost as people will call in sick to work and make more mistakes on the job.

  • The so-called scientists who praised Scott Gottlieb’s cigarette prohibition policy
    (which is what will occur if FDA imposes this absurd proposal) have received
    tens of millions of dollars from the US DHHS for the purpose of advocating
    mandatory nicotine reductions in cigarettes.

    Alcohol prohibition a century ago similarly limited the alcohol content of beverages to no more than 1%.

  • Enough is enough, a war on smokers again!! Already jacked up the price and then taxed us to death. All this is, is a money making thing. People will even smoke more, if the nicotine is lower. And what scientist have you talked to? The ones I’ve heard said the environment, causes more cancer than cigs!! And you have to be 21 years old to buy them. I have MS. and Drs. told me to smoke, it calms you and helps you cope. I do try to watch how much I do smoke though. And the e-cigs are the same or worse, pot is worse for you. Medical pot fine. We want the government to stay out of it. I’s our right.

  • As someone who smokes neither, marijuana is much safer. It doesn’t cause the diseases that smoking cigarettes does. It does have medical use. Marijuana has been used for centuries without killing people. As a nurse, it is invaluable for decreasing nausea and increasing appetite in cancer patients. Marijuana is a plant not a concoction of drugs and tobacco designed to be as addicting as possible.

  • Cigarettes are a drug injecting device just like a syringe and needle. The drug is nicotine and cigarette smokers are addicts. The tobacco industry has always known this and have titrated cigarettes to addict the smoker to nicotine. And it is not only legal; it is taxed. Why the big stink about marijuana? It doesn’t kill anyone.

    • And yet no one is concerned about what the heck is inhaled from smoking marijuana. Totally hypocritical. Breathing that garbage in pot into your lungs cannot be good for anyone, there IS no more medical benefit from it than from nicotine!

  • “They have some time: The FDA on Friday announced an intention to issue an “advance notice of proposed rulemaking,” which is typically followed by an actual “notice of proposed rulemaking,” which would be followed, presumably, by a “final rule” — a process that could drag out for months.”

    “Months”? Try years. The rulemaking process, especially for something without scientific consensus never attempted before, will go on for a very long time. And the FDA said it would determine if it is in fact feasible. That will take time, and they may determine that it isn’t.

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