FDA Issues Proposed Rule to Limit Known Carcinogen in Smokeless Tobacco Products

January 19, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC – January 19, 2017 – Today, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a proposed rule to limit N-nitrosonornicotine (NNN), a known carcinogen, in smokeless tobacco products. This is the first time FDA has used its authority to require a standard for tobacco products. Under this authority, the FDA can require changes to tobacco products, such as removal of harmful ingredients, elimination of flavors, or reduction of nicotine levels, in order to protect public health.

A statement from Chris Hansen, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), follows:

“We applaud the FDA for taking the first necessary step to limit a cancer-causing agent found in smokeless tobacco products.  

“The dangers of smokeless tobacco are severe. Smokeless tobacco use is responsible for an estimated 1,600 new cases of oral cancer, 200 cases of esophageal cancer and 500 cases of pancreatic cancer in the U.S. each year. In addition to cancer, smokeless tobacco users have an increased risk of death from heart disease and stroke.

“ACS CAN strongly supports the FDA’s implementation of this rule, which over a 20-year period would prevent nearly 13,000 new oral cancer diagnoses and prevent 2,220 oral cancer deaths.

“We encourage the FDA to take the necessary actions to finalize this rule and protect the public’s health from the dangers of tobacco.”

ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem.  ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visit

Jill Courtney or Alissa Crispino
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
Phone: (202) 585-3278 or (202) 661-5772
Email: [email protected] or [email protected]


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