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Experts laud Biden’s move to restrict nicotine in cigarettes to ‘non-addictive’ levels

Public health and tobacco addiction experts largely approve a recent move by the Biden administration to limit nicotine in cigarettes sold in the US to “non-addictive” levels, but fear it could encourage some to consume more. smoking than before.

The plan was unveiled Tuesday by the White House, as part of a larger effort to reduce tobacco use in the US — especially among teens and minority communities — and reduce cancer deaths in the coming decades.

Experts tell DailyMail.com that the move will likely prevent more people from becoming addicted to nicotine, although positive results may not be seen for years to come.

An expert warns that some heavily addicted nicotine users will simply start smoking more cigarettes to get their fix, causing even more physical harm themselves.

Experts agree ban on reducing nicotine in cigarettes could help reduce smoking, but are divided on e-cigarette ban

Experts agree ban on reducing nicotine in cigarettes could help reduce smoking, but are divided on e-cigarette ban

dr. Michael Steinberg, the director of the Tobacco Dependence Program at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, told DailyMail.com that this move could be very effective.

“I think reducing nicotine to non-addictive levels in cigarettes has the potential to be the FDA’s most impactful policy since cigarettes came on the market,” he explained.

He said stopping people from experimenting with cigarettes is largely impossible because a curious mind will always try things at least once.

dr.  Michael Steinberg (pictured), the director of the Tobacco Dependence Program at Rutgers, says it could be the FDA's most impactful policy since cigarettes came on the market

dr. Michael Steinberg (pictured), the director of the Tobacco Dependence Program at Rutgers, says it could be the FDA’s most impactful policy since cigarettes came on the market

Significantly reducing the nicotine in each cigarette will cause a majority of people to quit smoking after just one cigarette use, and lead to fewer long-term smokers.

“There’s nothing pleasant about breathing smoke into your lungs,” he said.

Cigarettes contain two main ingredients, nicotine and tobacco. The first is highly addictive, Steinberg says it is one of the most addictive legal substances.

Tobacco is not addictive without nicotine content, but its use can expose a person to a variety of risks, including many types of cancer, lung and heart problems.

By removing the addictive content from the cigarettes, there would be little reason for anyone to use them.

The reduction would also be significant, with Steinberg estimating that cigarette manufacturers may need to cut the nicotine content in their products by about 90 percent to comply with regulations.

dr. Michael Weaver, medical director of the Center for Neurobehavioral Research on Addictions at the University of Texas McGovern Medical School in Houston, also agrees with the move.

“I think it’s a good idea. It will take some time to implement and the major tobacco companies will withdraw,” he said, expecting a long legal battle in the future.

There are some concerns. These regulations are clearly aimed at non-smokers to prevent them from adopting the harmful habit.

dr.  Michael Weaver (pictured), medical director of the Center for Neurobehavioral Research on Addictions at the University of Texas, says there is little evidence to support the idea that e-cigarettes help reduce cigarette use

dr. Michael Weaver (pictured), medical director of the Center for Neurobehavioral Research on Addictions at the University of Texas, says there is little evidence to support the idea that e-cigarettes help reduce cigarette use

While those already addicted to nicotine may be able to wean themselves off the drug with the lower nicotine amounts, some may end up smoking more to get their fix, Weaver explains.

In the process, they inhale more tobacco — and other harmful ingredients — to get their normal fix.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has campaigned against the nicotine and tobacco industries in recent years, and the White House directions are just the latest in a long line of restrictions placed on these products.

Flavored nicotine and synthetic nicotine e-cigarette products have been in the agency’s crosshairs, with regulators forcing the products to apply for approval separately to avoid being pulled from shelves.

One of the largest e-cigarette companies, Juul, is expected to lose its ability to market in the US after a Wall Street Journal report revealed that the application is likely to be rejected.

Steinberg supports the ban on flavored e-cigarettes, but believes that unflavored products have value in helping some smokers kick the bad habit.

Weaver agrees, but sees less value in e-cigarettes in general.

“Electronic cigarettes were never designed or marketed to help people quit smoking… they failed to do that,” he explained.

He says only about ten percent of people who have tried to quit smoking using the devices have successfully done so, with the majority becoming “dual users” – those who use flammable and electronic nicotine devices.

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