October 29, 2015 – FDA and Nicotine


Anchor lead:  Should the FDA mandate low nicotine cigarettes? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Smoking low nicotine cigarettes seems to result in more smokers making cessation attempts, a recent New England Journal of Medicine study found. Enid Neptune, a lung expert at Johns Hopkins, says that has policy implications.

Neptune: The issue in terms of encouraging smoking cessation with lower nicotine cigarettes, is fully supported by this study.  This sets up a different paradigm now because it suggests that if we lower the nicotine content in all cigarettes that we may be able to reduce the number of chronic and active smokers by a significant degree.   :23

Neptune says the FDA is already fully empowered to regulate nicotine.

Neptune: In 2009 when Congress passed the Tobacco Control Act, that gave control of nicotine content to the FDA, and so the FDA could ask that the nicotine content be lowered but not fully eliminated, in order to achieve better health.   :15

At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.