Friday, June 28, the U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA) unveiled a new plan to lower tobacco use by reducing the nicotine level in cigarettes. While most were encouraged about the FDA addressing cigarette addictiveness, many were equally discouraged by the decision to delay FDA regulation of e-cigarettes, cigars, and other previously unregulated tobacco products by four years.

Reducing or eliminating nicotine from cigarettes could save lives by keeping kids from becoming addicted and making it easier for smokers to quit. While many of the ingredients like tar, ammonia, and formaldehyde in cigarettes are harmful, it’s the nicotine that makes them addictive in the first place.

Postponing the deadlines for regulating e-cigarettes and other tobacco products is detrimental to users’ health. We do not know the long-term effects of these products. Children are drawn to these flavored tobacco products and are more likely to try them over cigarettes. According to the Wisconsin Youth Tobacco Survey (YTS), use of e-cigarettes by Wisconsin high school students has increased from 7.9 percent in 2014 to 13.3 percent in 2016. Delaying regulation gives tobacco companies and e-cigarette manufacturers four more years to flood the market with candy flavored tobacco and nicotine products like e-cigarettes, hookah tobacco, and flavored cigars in flavors like fruit punch, bubble gum, and chocolate.

If you have any questions or want to quit smoking there is always someone to call. Call: 1800-QUITNOW or visit the South Central Tobacco Free Coalition for more information at: https://www.facebook.com/ScwTobaccoFreeCoalition/

Tara Noye

South Central Wisconsin Tobacco Free Coalition Coordinator