On July 28, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced its plans to lower the level of nicotine in cigarettes and other tobacco products to nonaddictive levels. The proposed rule was part of the FDA's strategy to combat the addiction crisis, according to FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD.
In announcing the policy, the FDA also said it will consider the role of flavors in tobacco products and delay a deadline for e-cigarette companies to get their products cleared for sale by the FDA by five years, meaning that market will remain largely unregulated until 2022. This is good news for tobacco companies looking to develop alternative products, which has some antismoking advocates worried.
In his July 28 briefing, Gottlieb called nicotine both the “problem” and “ultimately, the solution.” The FDA “must also recognize potential for innovation to lead to less harmful products,” he said.
Impact on General Dentistry: General dentistry has long been on the front line of defense against oral cancer. In that vein, the AGD will closely monitor the FDA’s efforts to shift the trajectory of tobacco-related disease and deaths while continuing to oppose efforts to delay the deadline for subjecting e-cigarettes from federal review.