Industry analysts predict that any plan to reduce nicotine content in cigarettes sold in the United States will take a long time to implement.
On April 19, the Wall Street Journal published an article suggesting that the Biden administration is considering a policy to require tobacco companies to reduce nicotine levels in cigarettes to non addictive levels.
However, according to an article published by CSP, industry analysts said the process would be long.
"Although we believe that there is still a long way to go to establish a legally binding nicotine standard, and it is still uncertain, we believe that the overall risk has risen and that there is a possibility of eventually implementing the nicotine standard," said Bonnie Herzog, managing director of Goldman Sachs, in a research report
Herzog said that if the Biden administration pushes ahead with its plan, she expects the number of cigarettes to drop sharply and more people will turn to less risky products and technologies.
Nik Modi, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets in New York, said in a research report that he was cautious about focusing too much on potential consequences at the moment because nicotine regulation was only a consideration.
If regulation takes the next step, the US Food and Drug Administration will have to issue a notice of the proposed rulemaking and consider the potential consequences. Herzog said there was a mandatory delay of at least one to two years between the release of the final rules and the implementation of the policy.
Among other things, the agency will have to consider whether reducing nicotine levels will increase cigarette consumption as a result of reduced risk perception, and whether its policies will promote black market sales or unregulated domestic manufacturing.
Critics have warned of the unintended consequences of the low nicotine injunction. Brad Polumbo, policy correspondent for the foundation for Economic Education (ffee), wrote that such policies would stimulate illegal trade and could lead to more smoking related diseases.
"If the law reduces the nicotine content in cigarettes, many people will react and smoke more cigarettes to get nicotine." Because it's the tar and other carcinogens in cigarettes that cause cancer, not nicotine itself, that could mean more lung cancer cases and more premature deaths, "he wrote on ffee.
More importantly, smokers who are dissatisfied with the new weak flavored cigarettes sold at legitimate outlets may turn to the black market for stronger cigarettes, according to pollumbo. "Because black market dealers have little commercial responsibility or regulation, these products are more likely to be adulterated with hazardous substances or create hazards," he wrote
The 22 century group questioned the claim of compensatory smoking. The 22nd century group is a company specializing in the production of low nicotine tobacco. It will gain considerable benefits from the nationwide low nicotine mandatory regulations.
"Public health researchers have finally refuted a common misconception that cigarettes with reduced nicotine content may lead to increased smoking. They said," when switching to cigarettes with the lowest nicotine addiction, it is practically impossible to maintain effective compensation for nicotine exposure. ", "The decrease in nicotine content is unlikely to lead to an increase in smoking in order to obtain more nicotine," the company wrote in a statement on the subject
Analysts also pointed out that legal challenges in the tobacco industry may delay policy implementation. Modi said cigarette manufacturers can challenge or sue the FDA if they believe it has not punished or crossed the line in accordance with regulatory guidelines.
The current discussion on reducing nicotine content began in 2018, when the FDA launched a comprehensive regulatory plan for tobacco and nicotine.