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FDA May No Longer Regulate Tobacco Usage in USA

The federal agency for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may no longer be regulating tobacco products in the USA. The Trump administration has recently proposed that FDA’s authority on tobacco product regulation should be limited or completely removed.

This proposal is in the context of the budget of White House for this new fiscal year which may make tobacco products regulate independently of the FDA. However, the state may pick a director to regulate it. The new budget request says that;

“A new agency with the singular mission on tobacco and its impact on public health would have a greater capacity to respond strategically to the growing complexity of new tobacco products. In addition, this reorganization would allow the FDA Commissioner to focus on its traditional mission of ensuring the safety of the Nation’s food and medical products supply.”

Related- Massachusetts Government Bans Vaping Products

FDA currently regulates all tobacco products in the USA that include cigarettes and e-cigarettes both. It also controls the approval and sales of many prescription-based and over-the-counter drugs, food items, fat burners, dietary supplements, medicines, vaccines, devices used in medical practices and a lot more.

The new proposed agency would be working under the Department of Health and Human Services, reports say.  This president’s budget request is based on suggestions and is not currently approved or imposed. Many experts believe that this budget request is highly unlikely to get approval from Congress in this form.

The suggestion to remove the hold of FDA as the tobacco regulation authority would be a bad decision. FDA was granted this designation in 2009 after Congress passed a law.

The head of the “White House Domestic Policy Council” Joe Grogan has earlier called tobacco regulation by the FDA to be a “huge waste of time”. Last year, he said;

“Tobacco has no redeeming qualities and it should not be regulated by a health agency like this. Tobacco regulation is a “huge distraction” for the FDA.”

Related- E-Cigarette explodes leaving a teenage boy seriously injured

Scott Gottlieb, a former Commissioner at FDA has immediately responded to this new proposal in the budget request, he tweeted that tobacco regulation in the USA is a major one of FDA’s “most important public health missions.” 

He further wrote in his tweet;

“The regulation of tobacco products was one of the most productive uses of my time as FDA Commissioner.”

Last year FDA banned the sale and purchase of flavored tobacco products after he vape related injuries in teens were reported nationwide. This crackdown against the e-cigarette and other tobacco products in USA was well received in media and public.

Many anti-tobacco advocates debate that this new Trump administration is not doing enough and there are still hundreds of products in markets that appeal to the youngsters but are potentially damaging for the health. 

Related- Vaping May Be More Harmful Than Cigarettes

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is an awareness program that is currently operating in the USA. The president of this campaign, Matthew Myers comments on this proposed FDA’s limitations on tobacco products as;

“It has taken a long time for the FDA Center for Tobacco Products to build up the staff, legal expertise, and structure to do the job.”

“This proposal is yet another giveaway to the tobacco and e-cigarette industry from an Administration that recently sided with the industry over kids by leaving thousands of flavored e-cigarettes on the market,” he said. 

All e-cigarette companies that like to operate in the USA need FDA approval by proving that these products would not harm public health. Right now, vaping is one of the biggest trends among teenage kids.

A government survey shows that approximately 25% of high school seniors used vape within last month. This vape-trend is unsafe for health and needs a strict controlling agency like the FDA. The budget request has not mentioned any alternative to the FDA to control tobacco products in USA. 

 

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Areeba Hussain

Areeba is an independent medical and healthcare writer. For the last three years, she is writing for Tophealthjournal. Her prime areas of interest are diseases, medicine, treatments, and alternative therapies. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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