The Food and Drug Administration wants to reduce the maximum nicotine level allowed in cigarettes and other tobacco products.
The agency says the goal is to save lives and prevent people from becoming addicted to nicotine.
"Each year, 480,000 people die prematurely from a smoking-attributed disease, making tobacco use the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States," the FDA said in a statement. "Additionally, tobacco use costs nearly $300 billion a year in direct health care and lost productivity."
The FDA contends that more than half of adults attempt to quit each year, but most aren't successful because nicotine is so addictive.
"Lowering nicotine levels to minimally addictive or non-addictive levels would decrease the likelihood that future generations of young people become addicted to cigarettes and help more currently addicted smokers to quit," said FDA Commissioner Robert Califf.