In July 2017, the FDA announced it intends to take a real look at regulating nicotine levels and plans to start a public dialogue around “lowering nicotine levels in combustible cigarettes to nonaddictive levels.” The next step in the process is issuing an ANPRM on nicotine levels and open public comments on the rule, something the agency said will happen “soon.”

Actual regulatory action on nicotine, however, will take a while.

“Any FDA decision is a very lengthy process,” said Modi of RBC, predicting nicotine regulations could take five years or more. “There’s a whole laundry list of things and processes you have to go through.”