The Biden administration wants to make the tobacco industry cut back the amount of nicotine in cigarettes sold in the U.S. to non-addictive levels.
Why it matters: The bid to essentially take the buzz out of smoking cigarettes would be unprecedented in the long-running public health fight to curb tobacco use, which the FDA says leads to more than 480,000 deaths a year.
Driving the news: The FDA can't actually just ban cigarettes, but can create "product standards" that make them less attractive, experts say. So on Tuesday, the agency proposed a rule to establish a maximum nicotine level in cigarettes and other certain finished tobacco products. It is unclear if they would do it at once or gradually.
What they're saying: "This would be really historic," Dorothy Hatsukami, a professor at the University of Minnesota who researches tobacco policy, told the Wall Street Journal. She's among a number of researchers who study tobacco regulatory science — much of it funded by the FDA— and examined the positive impact of low-nicotine cigarettes on consumer behavior and health, per WSJ.