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US plan gives greater role to electronic cigarettes in tobacco harm reduction

BMJ 2017; 358 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j3689 (Published 01 August 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;358:j3689
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. Seattle

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will seek to reduce nicotine levels in combustible cigarettes to non-addictive levels while exploring giving electronic cigarettes and other nicotine delivery products a greater role in reducing the harm caused by tobacco.

In a 28 July speech announcing the plan, FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said that the recent development of new electronic nicotine delivery devices makes it possible to reduce cigarette use driven by nicotine addiction.

Gottlieb said that, although nicotine was “by no means completely safe and benign,” products that deliver the drug present a “continuum of risk” in which the …

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