Nicotine kills. Oh, not directly, for the most part. It’s just so addictive that cigarette smokers find it nearly impossible to quit a product that subtracts years off their lives, causes cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, strokes and heart disease, along with worsening Type 2 diabetes. In 2018, more than half of the smokers in this country tried to stop; only 8% did.
The United States banned enticing candy flavors and raised the smoking age in an effort to keep kids from getting hooked on cigarettes, with some success. But there are still many teens and adults who are hooked and unable to rid themselves of a habit they probably started when they were too young to know better.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has wanted to reduce nicotine levels in cigarettes since the 1990s. But now it has an administration willing to back the idea: President Joe Biden is proposing to slash nicotine levels of cigarettes to minimal or “nonaddictive” levels.