(NBC News) Cigarette manufacturers could soon be forced to make their products less addictive.
The Food and Drug Administration has announced it’s exploring ways to lower the level of nicotine in cigarettes.
Nearly all adult smokers started when they were kids and teenagers and have never been able to shake their addiction.
“Unless we change course, 5.6 million children alive today will die prematurely later in life from tobacco use,” warns FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb.
Cigarette and e-cigarette maker Altria released a statement in response:
“We think today’s announcement is an important evolution in the Agency’s approach to regulating tobacco products and a meaningful step forward in developing a comprehensive regulatory policy that acknowledges the continuum of risk.”
The FDA also announced it will allow e-cigarette companies several more years before having to get FDA approval for products marketed after February 2007.
That means e-cigarette companies will be able to keep their products on the market longer, which is drawing criticism from the campaign for tobacco-free kids.
“It was an enormous mistake to continue to allow flavored e-cigarettes and flavored cigars to remain on the market,” says the organization’s president Matthew Myers.
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