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Smoking linked to increased risk of hearing loss

Smoking linked to increased risk of hearing loss

While it's not yet clear exactly how much nicotine will be cut from the products, a new notice-it's expected to be published on Friday-states that the agency "is considering developing a proposed product standard to make cigarettes minimally addictive or nonaddictive by setting a maximum nicotine level".

Gottlieb said on Twitter this is a "historic first step". The public now has 90 days to comment on questions about the proposal and what level the upper limit should be.

By 2100, the plan would prevent 33 million people who are now children or young adults from ever taking up tobacco, saving 8 million lives. This could result in more than eight million fewer tobacco-related deaths.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement that cigarette smoking kills more than 480,000 Americans every single year.

An additional wave of rule making will explore the role that premium cigars and flavors, including menthol, play in tobacco use. The FDA will also continue to consider other nicotine delivery systems that are potentially less harmful. Smoking also costs the country $300 billion a year in direct health care and lost productivity, Gottlieb said.

Cigna acquires Express Scripts, plans to expand health services portfolio
The broad Health Care Plans industry has an average P/S ratio of 16.24, which is significantly worse than the sector's 6.58. Tim Wentworth , president and CEO of Express Scripts , will be president and chief operating officer of Health Services.

The possible acceptance of reduced-risk products makes the FDA's announcement a mixed bag for Big Tobacco.

Cigarette-related illnesses account for almost half a million deaths in the USA annually, a figure that Gottlieb hopes to curb by placing new sanctions on the manufacturing of tobacco.

James Figlar, executive vice president of research and development for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, said in a statement that he looks forward "to working with FDA on its science-based review of nicotine levels in cigarettes and to build on the opportunity of establishing a regulatory framework that is based on tobacco harm reduction and recognizes the continuum of risk".

Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, an antismoking group, said that Thursday's action will have "enormous significance" - provided it is followed by quick FDA action to develop and adopt a final rule.

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