FDA considers lowering nicotine in cigarettes below addictive levels

The FDA said it plans to'begin a public dialogue about lowering nicotine to non-addictive levels

R Street Harm Reduction Policy Director Carrie Wade noted that this should be considered an important first step to reorient FDA regulation of tobacco products from a process created to protect the sales and profits of the major cigarette makers to one created to reduce tobacco-related addiction, illness and death.

The agency says the new plan isn't meant to simply snuff out a multi-billion dollar industry, but rather to encourage companies to develop innovative products that prove to be less risky than cigarettes.

The FDA also wants new rules to address flavored tobacco products - including menthol - and kids.

The FDA said that tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable disease and death in America, causing more than 480,000 deaths every single year.

FDA claimed nicotine is most harmful when delivered through smoke particles in combustible cigarettes and that less harmful products like e-cigarettes should be explored. Under the proposed delay, products would be able to remain on the market while FDA determines whether to green light the products for sale to consumers.

Apple slapped with $506 million in patent dispute damages
Apple has been ordered to pay the University of Wisconsin-Madison's patent licensing arm a sum of $506m (£387.49m). Conley has said he would not rule on that case until Apple has an opportunity to appeal the original jury verdict.

Gottlieb also stressed that, while e-cigarette companies should have more time to come into compliance with the FDA's regulations, the products should never find their way into the hands and mouths of children.

More than 480,000 deaths occur each year in the US from smoking-related illnesses.

"It's hard to overstate what this could mean for the companies affected: non-addictive levels of nicotine would likely mean a lot fewer smokers and of those people who do still light up, smoking a lot less", said Neil Wilson, a senior market analyst at ETX Capital.

"The staggering measure of death and illness inferable from tobacco is caused by dependence on cigarettes -", FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in an announcement declaring the move.

However, smoking in the United States is at an all-time low, with just 15 percent of adults still lighting up. Health care and lost productivity costs come in at almost $300 billion annually, according to the FDA. Shares of Gillia tumbled 7% while British American Tobacco (BTI - Free Report) stock plunged 9%.

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