The Food and Drug Administration is taking big steps to try to make cigarettes less addictive.
The FDA plans to develop a proposed product standard that would establish a maximum nicotine level to reduce the addictiveness of cigarettes and certain other combusted tobacco products. The goal would be to reduce youth use, addiction and death.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of smokers continues to decline each year. Currently, 13 out of every 100 Americans admit they enjoy it.
Each year, 480,000 people die prematurely from a smoking-attributed disease and 11,000 of those deaths are in Tennessee.
Smoking is expensive too. It costs nearly $300 billion a year in health care and lost productivity.
The FDA also discovered more than half of adult cigarette smokers try to quit each year, but most don't succeed.
FDA Commissioner Robert Califf said lowering nicotine levels to minimally addictive or non-addictive levels would decrease the likelihood that future generations of young people become addicted to cigarettes and help more current smokers to quit.
The regulations won’t happen overnight, and experts said there’s no guarantee these changes will happen.
There are a lot of steps they have to go through like allowing public comment and the cigarette companies would want a say, too.
Currently, there are brands on the market that offer cigarettes with lower levels of nicotine.