Shocking news for all tobacco smokers, the US government has presented concrete plans to reduce cigarette nicotine content drastically. For several years now, the tobacco lobby, which used to be strong, has been experiencing a significant downturn that can hardly be stopped; the once-golden times seem to be long gone. Is the world power moving more towards e-cigarettes with this course?
Making e-cigarettes appealing to smokers
Last Friday, the US government suggested regulating the nicotine content of tobacco cigarettes to a non-addictive level and encouraging American smokers, hundreds of thousands of whom die every year from tobacco use to the far less dangerous alternative e-cigarette to move. According to Scott Gottlieb, chief of the Food & Drug Administration(FDA), nicotine is not responsible for cancer, lung and cardiovascular disease. It is much more than the other chemical components in tobacco, especially in the smoke produced during combustion that causes fatal diseases. According to Gottlieb, the Food & Drug Administration can neither reduce the nicotine content in tobacco cigarettes to zero nor completely ban the old fags. Reducing nicotine can make cigarettes less addictive, or perhaps not addictive.
E-cigarettes are on the rise
The FDA’s new course is currently sparking discussions worldwide about whether e-cigarettes are the panacea. Scott Gottlieb says that while some long-term studies still need to be done, there are already numerous benefits that cannot be ignored. Gottlieb, himself a doctor and cancer survivor, believes e-cigarettes have the potential to move smokers away from combustible cigarettes and toward the healthier, electronic alternative. The impact this will have on the tobacco industry sounds devastating initially, but most large corporations have already taken precautions and invested in extensive research into alternatives to combustible cigarettes.
The tobacco industry is busy developing e-cigarettes
Accordingly, none of the big players was caught off guard. Tobacco cigarettes have been politically opposed for years, but so have e-cigarettes in Europe, as the TPD regulation shows. Perhaps with the new course in the USA, e-cigarettes will soon be prescribed by doctors as a smoking cessation aid in Europe, too, except in Great Britain, where e-cigarettes are actively recommended as a healthy alternative.
The other side of the coin
It may sound too good to be true initially, but unfortunately, the FDA’s new roadmap also has negative sides. With the objection of the campaign for tobacco-free children, its president Matthew Myers demanded the ban of child-appealing varieties such as gummy bear flavours or fruit flavours. Scott Gottlieb replied that he intends to ban such flavours and possibly menthol liquid. In the same breath, the FDA chief mentioned that the plan is to leave premium cigars unaffected by FDA regulations.
The future remains uncertain
At first, it may sound promising that after Great Britain, the e-cigarette is also recognized as a healthy alternative in the USA and may soon be able to save even more lives. However, it is frightening that vapers may be taking the fun out by artificially restricting the variety of flavours. A similar wave of bunkers as there was with a nicotine-containing base here in Germany a few months ago would be conceivable. Nothing has been decided yet, and it remains to be seen, as always, whether everything will be eaten as hot as it is cooked. We will continue to steam our delicious jam and doughnut liquids.