Wed. 22 Jun 2022, 7:27am ET Benzinga Government, News, Penny Stocks, Health Care, FDA, Top Stories, General

The Biden administration signaled that it would develop a proposed rule to establish a maximum nicotine level to reduce the addictiveness of cigarettes and certain other combusted tobacco products. The goal of the potential rule would be to reduce youth use, addiction, and death. 

"Nicotine is powerfully addictive," FDA Commissioner Robert Califf said in the statement

"Lowering nicotine levels to minimally addictive or non-addictive levels would decrease the likelihood that future generations of young people become addicted to cigarettes and help more currently addicted smokers quit," he added.

Related: Could Biden Extinguish Tobacco Stocks With This Regulation?

Nicotine is a chemical in tobacco products that is highly addictive. According to the FDA, the chemical can change how the brain works, making people crave more of it.

Wall Street Journal reported that the FDA plans to publish a proposed rule in May 2023, though the agency cautioned that the date is tentative. 

Then the agency would invite public comments before publishing a final rule. The report added that tobacco companies could then sue, further delaying the policy's implementation.

WSJ also noted that this would be the most significant step by the U.S. government to curb smoking since a landmark legal settlement in 1998 when tobacco companies agreed to pay more than $200 billion to help states pay for healthcare.

Some tobacco companies that are likely to get affected by the move are     Altria Group, Inc. (NYSE:MO), British American Tobacco (NYSE:BTI), Japan Tobacco Inc. (OTC:JAPAY), Imperial Brands PLC (OTC:IMBBY), Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE:PM), RLX Technology Inc. (NYSE:RLX).

Photo by Olivia de Salve Villedieu via Wikimedia Commons