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FDA aims to lower nicotine in cigarettes to get smokers to quit

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WASHINGTON, DC (WWSB) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration wants to lower nicotine levels in cigarettes so they aren't so addictive.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced the move on Friday.

The federal agency has had the power since 2009 to cut nicotine levels but hasn't done so.

The FDA plans to seek comments as it develops new regulations.

The FDA is also giving e-cigarette makers more time for a review of the products already on the market.

Gottlieb says the agency needs time to focus on nicotine regulation and not be distracted by the debate on whether e-cigarettes help smokers quit.

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids president Matthew Myers praised the overall approach but called the e-cigarettes delay "a serious error."

Stocks of cigarette makers plunged after the announcement.