FDA Approves Marketing of Low-Nicotine Cigarettes

New modified risk tobacco products meant to reduce exposure to nicotine

(RxWiki News) It may sound unreal, but the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just approved the marketing of a type of cigarettes.

And there's a good reason for that: to help nicotine users consume less nicotine, which may help them quit altogether.

The FDA approved the marketing of 22nd Century Group Inc.’s “VLN King” and “VLN Menthol King” filtered combustible cigarettes. These cigarettes are considered "modified risk tobacco products," which means they reduce exposure to nicotine for current cigarette smokers who use them.

According to the FDA, 3 out of 4 adult smokers want to quit smoking. And these newly approved products appear likely to help with that.

“Having options like these products authorized today, which contain less nicotine and are reasonably likely to reduce nicotine dependence, may help adult smokers," said Mitch Zeller, JD, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, in a press release. "If adult smokers were less addicted to combusted cigarettes, they would likely smoke less and may be exposed to fewer harmful chemicals that cause tobacco-related disease and death.”

This new marketing approval allows the manufacturer to use particular claims in the marketing of these cigarettes. Some of these approved claims are as follows, according to the FDA:

  • “95% less nicotine.”

  • “Helps reduce your nicotine consumption.”

  • “...Greatly reduces your nicotine consumption.”

These cigarettes will still get the customary nicotine warnings on the packaging, but those warnings can be accompanied by the above claims.

In a press release about this marketing approval, the FDA emphasized that these cigarettes are not considered "FDA-approved" — only their marketing claims have been evaluated and approved. The agency noted that no tobacco product is considered safe.

Talk to your health care provider about your options for quitting smoking.

Review Date: 
January 3, 2022