I was pleased to hear U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb announce the FDA’s plan to reduce nicotine levels in cigarettes and to address flavorings such as menthol, which entice youth to experiment with smoking. These actions are important to preventing the 2,100 youth and young adults in the U.S. who everyday become cigarette smokers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Furthermore, I challenge legislators to restrict tobacco advertising, raise the minimum age for purchasing tobacco and e-cigarettes to 21 and increase taxes on tobacco products to discourage youth from smoking.
Medical and behavioral health providers must routinely address nicotine addiction with their patients at every visit. Their advice makes a difference.
The New York State Smokers’ Quitline is a free resource that supports smokers ready to quit. Contact them at (866) 697-8487 or nysmokefree.com.
Beixi Li
University of Rochester