The Biden administration is considering measures that would force tobacco companies to reduce the amount of nicotine in all cigarettes to nonaddictive or minimally addictive levels, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal. The administration is also weighing whether to ban menthol cigarettes, the Journal reports. Federal data shows that every year, 226 billion cigarettes are sold in the U.S., and about a third are menthol cigarettes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says some studies have shown people who smoke menthols have a harder time quitting than those who smoke non-menthol cigarettes. Additionally, the Federal Drug Administration and National Institutes of Health funded research that showed when nicotine was almost completely removed from cigarettes, smokers were more likely to quit or turn to alternatives that are less harmful, like lozenges or gum, the Journal reports. Annually, 480,000 deaths in the U.S. are linked to cigarettes.
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