A giant sculpture of a cigarette in an ashtray is displayed in New York on September 3, 2014 (GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/Andrew Burton)
The US government wants to drastically reduce the nicotine content of cigarettes sold in the United States, to reach levels low enough to prevent addiction among smokers as part of a plan to fight cancer, according to media reports on Tuesday.
The announcement could be made later in the day, the Washington Post reports, and is part of a sweeping health program aimed at reducing the number of cancer deaths, which President Joe Biden has promised to reduce by 50% over a period of time. 25 years old.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States after cardiovascular disease. Tobacco is the main preventable cause of death in the country with 480,000 tobacco-related deaths recorded each year.
But according to the Washington Post, this possible announcement is only the beginning of a long process against which the powerful tobacco industry should fight.
The drug agency (FDA), which regulates the tobacco market, must present its proposed rules, a process that could take a year, says the Washington Post, citing a source familiar with the matter.
These new proposals will then be published and open to public comment. Each of these comments — potentially tens of thousands — will need to be investigated, as required by law.
The FDA, long in favor of reducing the level of nicotine in cigarettes, pledged in April 2021 to ban the sale of menthol cigarettes, a measure that “will save hundreds of thousands of lives”.
Menthol cigarettes are considered a gateway to smoking, encouraging young people in particular to start smoking, and are associated with greater addiction.
Donald Trump’s administration previously banned most e-cigarette flavors, while exempting menthol.
And at the end of 2019, Congress passed a law raising the minimum age to buy tobacco and electronic cigarettes across the country from 18 to 21.