Praise FDA for Reducing Nicotine in Cigarettes

Target: Scott Gottlieb, Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration

Goal: Praise the FDA for planning to make cigarettes less addictive.

The FDA is planning to cut nicotine levels in cigarettes to benefit public health. The notice, which will be open for 90 days for public comment, cites data and evaluations by the New England Journal of Medicine on how to help adults quit smoking and prevent experimenting teenagers from becoming addicted. With this and other campaigns, the FDA hopes to cut smoking levels down to 1.4% from its current 15% in adults just by reducing nicotine levels. This reduction will prevent eight million tobacco-related deaths by the end of the century alone.

This number is staggering, and many groups are showing support for this momentous decision. The president of an anti-smoking group claims that no other regulatory agency has seriously proposed an intervention like this, even though the FDA had gained the right to regulate tobacco since 2009. A  more formal proposal will be drafted once the 90-day public comment trial is over, but so far the rule is being received positively. The FDA hopes to direct smokers to less hazardous alternatives to burning tobacco, including e-cigarettes.

There is still work to be done and much more to consider, however.  For example, the administration wonders if smokers will only smoke more to compensate for the lower nicotine levels in each cigarette and if there will be illegal trading of higher-level nicotine cigarettes. The administration is also determining what maximum level of nicotine they should impose and if the reduction should be gradual or all at once. Although there is still much to be determined, the fact that the FDA is coming forward to help prevent 480,000 tobacco-related deaths per year in the United States is still wonderful news. Smoking is at an all-time low, and this proposal will only help ensure that this fact remains true. Sign the petition below to praise the FDA Commissioner for his admirable work.


Dear Mr. Gottlieb,

You announced that the FDA is moving forward with regulations to help reduce nicotine levels in cigarettes. This will greatly benefit public health through a massive decrease in smoking levels and tobacco-related deaths. Each year, we lose 480,000 people to tobacco-related deaths in the United States even though smoking is at an all-time low. Cutting nicotine levels could help smokers quit and prevent teenagers from becoming addicted. It could also bring smoking levels down to 1.4% from 15% in adults.

To achieve these numbers, we must work on multiple facets of the smoking issue at once. Regulating e-cigarettes and running anti-smoking campaigns are only two actions that we must take to help prevent smoking-related deaths. I hope that you continue to regulate cigarettes and help protect consumers from being targeted by tobacco companies. The FDA is one of the first ever regulatory agencies to take on this massive task, and I thank you for your efforts.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Debora Cartagena

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  1. Gen Agustsson says:

    reducing nicotine is not enough and it needs to be banned. i don’t smoke nicotine.

  2. It is not only nicotine that needs to be removed, also chemicals from tobacco that are harmful and unnecessary in tobacco. These chemicals are making cigarettes addictive and making people sick. Simple, remove chemicals from tobacco.

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