The Biden administration is weighing whether to reduce the amount of nicotine permitted in cigarettes, The Hill reports. The administration is also considering banning menthol cigarettes.
Administration officials told The Wall Street Journal they are considering lowering nicotine levels to non-addictive or minimally addictive levels. The goal would be to encourage millions of smokers to quit or switch to less harmful options such as nicotine lozenges, gums or e-cigarettes. A ban on menthol cigarettes would be designed to discourage smoking among young people, many of whom start with menthols.
The Food and Drug Administration must respond in court by April 29 to a citizens’ petition to ban menthols. The agency will have to announce whether it will go ahead with the ban. Menthol cigarettes represent about one-third of the 226 billion cigarettes sold each year in the United States. They are popular among teenage and African American smokers, according to federal data.