Prevent Cancer Foundation® applauds FDA plan to lower nicotine levels in cancer-causing cigarettes, continues to discourage e-cigarette use

August 2, 2017

Food and Drug Administration announces new plan for tobacco and nicotine regulation

ALEXANDRIA, Va., August 2, 2017 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last week announced a new plan for tobacco and nicotine regulation to lower nicotine levels in combustible cigarettes to non-addictive levels.

Smoking continues to be a leading cause of cancer, causing about 80 percent of lung cancer deaths. Smoking is also a risk factor for at least 13 additional types of cancer, including breast, cervical, colorectal, liver, oral and prostate cancers. “Unless we change course, 5.6 million young people alive today will die prematurely later in life from tobacco use,” said FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb.

Cigarettes and other tobacco products contain nicotine, which is highly addictive. The Prevent Cancer Foundation® applauds the FDA’s plan to lower nicotine levels so cigarettes will no longer create or sustain addiction. “Because almost 90 percent of adult smokers started smoking before the age of 18 and nearly 2,500 youth smoke their first cigarette every day in the U.S., lowering nicotine levels could decrease the likelihood that future generations become addicted to cigarettes and allow more currently addicted smokers to quit,” the FDA said in a release.

The FDA will be accepting comments about lowering nicotine levels in combustible cigarettes to non-addictive levels through achievable product standards. The agency will issue an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) to seek input from the public.

Though the move to lower nicotine levels in cigarettes is a positive one, the Prevent Cancer Foundation does not support the FDA’s simultaneous move to extend the timeline for applications for new e-cigarette clearance to August 8, 2022. This move will allow e-cigarettes, which also contain nicotine, to remain on the market for a longer period of time without regulation.

Because e-cigarettes are relatively new devices, there are still many unknowns about the potential long-term risks. To date, the FDA has not approved e-cigarette use as a method to quit smoking. The Prevent Cancer Foundation® stands firm in discouraging the use all nicotine-containing products, including e-cigarettes, to prevent cancer.

About The Prevent Cancer Foundation®

The Prevent Cancer Foundation® is one of the nation’s leading voluntary health organizations and the only U.S. nonprofit focused solely on cancer prevention and early detection.  Founded in 1985, it has catapulted cancer prevention to prominence and fulfills its mission through research, education, outreach and advocacy across the country.

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