While smoking rates are at historic lows, tobacco still kills roughly half a million people every year. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 3,200 youth light up for the first time, representing a potential next generation of smokers who, absent intervention, will refill the ranks of those destined to die prematurely due to their nicotine dependence.
Although public health authorities have encouraged people for years to quit smoking by using proven effective nicotine replacement therapies, millions of people still continue to smoke.
A recent opinion editorial published in the Washington Post highlights an announcement made by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about an ambitious long-term strategy to finally end tobacco’s cycle of addiction and death by lowering nicotine levels in cigarettes to non-addictive levels.
For the past several months, Attorney General Mr. Tom Miller of Iowa and other leading researchers and policy advocates — including the dean at New York University College of Global Public Health, Dr. Cheryl Healton, and two new NYU faculty members — Dr. David Abrams, clinical assistant professor and Dr. Raymond Niaura — have been working to urge the FDA to pursue this ambitious course.NYU