Tobacco shares nosedive on FDA regulation warning

29 July, 2017, 00:13 | Author: Darnell Patrick
  • Cigarro Tabaco

The US Food and Drug Administration will work to cut the amount of nicotine in cigarettes to non-addictive levels, with the goal of preventing thousands of tobacco-related deaths a year. "But the nicotine in cigarettes is not directly responsible for the cancer, lung disease, and heart disease that kill hundreds of thousands of Americans each year".

The agency says "a key piece of the FDA's approach is demonstrating a greater awareness that nicotine-while highly addictive-is delivered through products that represent a continuum of risk and is most harmful when delivered through smoke particles in combustible cigarettes".

Mostly because of cigarette smoking, tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. and around the world.

The agency also announced plans to delay a policy that requires makers of e-cigarettes, or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), to get agency approval for their products. "Envisioning a world where cigarettes would no longer create or sustain addiction, and where adults who still need or want nicotine could get it from alternative and less harmful sources, needs to be the cornerstone of our efforts - and we believe it's vital that we pursue this common ground".


The FDA's decision also extends the timeline for applications for new e-cigarette clearance by the FDA to August 8, 2022, giving e-cigarette companies more time to keep their products on the market before the agency tackles the process of final review.

Neil Wilson of ETX Capital said it was "hard to overstate" what falling numbers of addicts and less frequent smoking could mean for corporate revenues. This costly process would, in practice, have resulted in the near complete elimination of harm-reduction tools like e-cigarettes from the market.

British American Tobacco's USA subsidiary, Reynolds American Inc., said it was encouraged by Mr. Gottlieb's comments on the relative risks of different tobacco products. Nearly 90% of adult smokers started smoking before the age of 18 and 2,500 youths have their first cigarette every day, the agency said.

The plan had an immediate effect on the stock market, Bloomberg reports.

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