In May, Scott Gottlieb was appointed as the new Food and Drug Administration (FDA) chief. Last week, in a major regulatory shift, he proposed cutting nicotine in cigarettes to “non-addictive” levels. Eric Donny, a University of Pittsburgh researcher, and other researchers found that reducing nicotine substantially — by around 90% — leads to smokers being less dependent on cigarettes and smoking fewer of them. The level of nicotine is correlated with the level of addiction. However, “Most of the harm associated with smoking is related not to the nicotine but everything else in the smoke. Reducing nicotine doesn’t make a cigarette safe, it just makes it less addictive,” said Donny.