The FDA (Food & Drug Administration) has proposed that the tobacco companies begin seriously thinking of making low-nicotine cigarettes…enough that they’re “non-addictive.” According to the N.Y. Times, nicotine levels would be set so low that smokers wouldn’t be able to extract enough to create or sustain addiction.
“Cigarette makers today keep the nicotine at between 1 and 2 percent by weight, having found this to be the Goldilocks optimum, neither too harsh nor to mild,” wrote the Times. “Reducing this percentage by a factor of 10 would make it very difficult for cigarettes to become addictive. Reducing it even further would make addiction virtually impossible. Kids might start smoking, but they wouldn’t have trouble quitting,” they added.
This was tried before when Philip Morris launched the Merit De-Nic, Benson & Hedges De-Nic and Next brands. But, advised the Times, “Sales were disappointing in part because high-nicotine cigarettes remained on the market.” Of course, the cigarette vending faction of the coin machine business has been decimated. But, who knows what lurks ahead. Stay tuned.