So the idea is the FDA wants to try to wean smokers - people who are addicted to nicotine - off nicotine, which is a very addictive drug, to try to reduce the harms of smoking, which is one of the most unsafe health problems the United States faces.
"Firstly, this is a plan to start a public dialogue focused on protecting children and reducing tobacco-related disease and death".
The development is a bad one for the global tobacco industry, with estimates the largest producers could lose around $60billion (£46billion) in market value. This makes sense, as those products provide nicotine as well, but with much lower adverse effects to the consumers' health compared to smoking cigarettes. Josh Sharfstein, who was deputy FDA commissioner in the Obama administration and now is a professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said Gottlieb's announcement was an "exciting moment" because the FDA was signaling that it wanted to link its policies on e-cigarettes to those on cigarettes.
"Our approach to nicotine must be accompanied by a firm foundation of rules and standards for newly-regulated products", he added.
Washington lobbyists for the $130 billion American tobacco industry are expected to put up a fight to fend off what some believe could be the most sweeping federal effort to reduce smoking since the US Congress required cigarette packages to carry health warnings in 1965.
(Gottlieb) "We need to envision a world where cigarettes lose their addictive potential through reduced nicotine levels". As reported in Fortune, shares in Altria Group were down about 12 percent, British American Tobacco was down nine percent, and Philip Morris was off by 3.5 percent.
"Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States, causing more than 480,000 deaths every single year". You know, imagine - you suddenly slash the amount of nicotine in cigarettes, you're going have all these addicted smokers desperate for nicotine. Applications for noncombustible products, such as e-cigarettes, would be submitted by August 8, 2022.
Gottlieb said in a briefing Friday that menthol and other flavored products may be banned as part of the rollout, due to their role in attracting young people to cigarette and nicotine products.
Marlboro and Parliament maker Altria shares plunged almost 10% in response to the FDA detailing a new approach that would explicitly target nicotine and addiction to cigarettes.
But, he said, there's no reason to delay the critical deadlines for complying with the FDA's 2016 rule establishing oversight of electronic cigarettes, cigars and other previously unregulated tobacco products, which the agency also announced Friday. It plans to take input on the proposal, with the goal of cutting down on the number of future smokers, according to the agency. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conneticut, told Bloomberg in an email, "I am concerned by delay in implementing the common sense rules finalized past year".