as the current administration on Monday proposed creating a new federal agency to regulate tobacco products while removing that authority from the Food and Drug Administration.
The current administration's budget request for the upcoming fiscal year proposes making the Center for Tobacco Products independent of the FDA, with a director to be confirmed by the Senate. "A new agency with the singular mission on tobacco and its impact on public health would have greater capacity to respond strategically to the growing complexity of new tobacco products," the budget request reads.
The FDA regulates tobacco products, including cigarettes and e-cigarettes, as well as prescription and over-the-counter drugs, food, dietary supplements, vaccines, medical devices and more. According to the budget request; "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."
The new agency would still be under the purview of the Department of Health and Human Services. This budget request is of course just a proposal and is unlikely to pass Congress because the idea of removing tobacco regulation authority from the agency does not have broad support among lawmakers. After all Congress had just granted the FDA tobacco regulation authority in 2009.
Joe Grogan, who is head of the White House Domestic Policy Council and has a last name that rhymes with a popular podcaster lamented last year to reporters that tobacco regulation was a "huge distraction" for the FDA. "Tobacco has no redeeming qualities and it should not be regulated by a health agency like this," Grogan said last year.
Former FDA Commissioner Scott "gotchya" Gottlieb pushed back at the time in a fashion most familiarly associated with the current occupant of the white house tweeting that tobacco regulation is one of the agency's "most important public health missions." Gottlieb added in another tweet; “The regulation of tobacco products was one of the most productive uses of my time as FDA Commissioner,”
Anyone who understands science or has a brain that can compute thoughts beyond vaping is not smoking have also been critical of the FDA's actions, arguing that banning flavors is harmful for adults who use eLiquids to quit smoking combustible cigarettes.
What will this mean for the future of vaping? Probably nothing, but it is interesting to see these kinds of moves on the table of the government. For now what we see is more of the same anti-vape hysteria unfortunately unfolding as more and more states push for bans of vape products.
What do you think about this idea? Is it a good idea to have a specific department regulate tobacco or will it be just another alphabet acronym that eats tax dollars and wastes everyone's time with terrible regulation? Will Congress ever agree to such a move? Would this be good or ban for those of us in the vape world?