The Biden administration is eyeing a regulatory change that could radically change smoking: forcing tobacco companies to cut the amount of nicotine in cigarettes to a level so low it would no longer be addictive, The Wall Street Journal reported. Federally funded research has shown that smokers are likely to abandon low-nicotine cigarettes and switch to nicotine gum or e-cigarettes that don’t contain the substances that cause disease linked to half a million deaths a year in the U.S. The tobacco industry was unenthused. Altria, which makes Marlboro, warned the move could lead to “growth of an illicit market” and cost jobs. The Biden administration is also mulling a possible ban on menthol cigarettes, which science has shown are harder to quit and are popular among younger smokers and Black smokers.
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