According to the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. government plans to implement a policy requiring tobacco companies to reduce the nicotine content in cigarettes sold to a minimum or non addictive level.
Health advocates have long pushed for a reduction in nicotine in cigarettes. A study funded by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the US National Institutes of health shows that smokers are more likely to quit smoking when nicotine is almost eliminated in cigarettes.
However, some insiders believe that reducing the demand for nicotine will lead people to smoke more cigarettes, because smokers need more cigarettes to meet their desire for nicotine. Critics also warned that the demand for low nicotine levels is likely to stimulate the rampant illegal tobacco trade.
It may take several years from the issuance of the low nicotine policy to its implementation. FDA must first publish the proposed rules and then solicit public opinion before publishing the final rules. Tobacco companies can challenge the rule in court, which may further delay the implementation of the policy.