Tobacco Industry Facing New Challenge
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is planning on cutting down the nicotine levels in cigarettes, the level of nicotine in cigarettes with an aim to make it non-addictive. This step would reshape the US$ 130 Billion American Tobacco Industry encouraging millions of smokers to quit smoking.
This reduction in nicotine levels potentially represents one the most widespread efforts to reduce smoking in the US, since the effort of conveying a warning on every cigarette package did not deliver much progress. The stocks in the tobacco industry plunged after the FDA’s announcement, hours after the Republican Party failed to replace most of the Affordable Care Act by Obama.
This decision of the FDA is likely to set off a political stir in Washington, even though this would drive the development of new products that rely less on burning tobacco and more on technologies such as vaping.
The death and disease rate of tobacco has increased in the past few years. In the US, more than 480,000 deaths are caused by smoking every year, this includes more than 41,000 deaths of secondhand smokers. Nearly 1,300 people die of smoking related illnesses daily. On an average, smokers die 10 years earlier than nonsmokers. People smoke due to an addiction developed by the intake of nicotine, which is the only legal consumer product that kills nearly half of its long term users. Unless not put a stop to, more young people would die prematurely from tobacco use. Regulators are also likely to ban menthol and flavored products.
Altria, one the largest tobacco companies, witnessed a major drop by 19 percent on July 28, 2017, which is markedly the biggest decline since 1999, according to Business Newsletter. The British-American Tobacco stock plummeted by 14 percent.
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