Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on new steps the agency is taking to support the development of novel nicotine replacement drug therapies to help smokers quit cigarettes



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STATEMENT - As a public health agency, there is no greater impact we can have to improve the health of our nation than to significantly reduce the rate of tobacco-related disease and death. Through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s comprehensive framework for regulating nicotine and tobacco, we’re developing policies that support the possibility of a world where combustible cigarettes could no longer create or sustain addiction. A key part of this framework are steps to pave the way for products that help currently addicted smokers move away from the deadliest form of nicotine delivery.

Part of this work requires that we recognize that nicotine, while highly addictive, is delivered through products posing a continuum of risk – with combustible cigarettes at one end, to nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products at the other. We’re working on multiple fronts to recognize the role that more novel forms of nicotine delivery could play in achieving our public health goals, as part of an appropriately regulated marketplace. This not only includes encouraging innovation of potentially less harmful tobacco products for those adults who still seek to use nicotine (such as e-cigarettes), but also taking a closer look at our overall approach to the development and regulation of NRT products that are regulated as drugs, and designed to safely reduce withdrawal symptoms, including nicotine craving, associated with quitting smoking.

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