ATS Joins Letter Urging HHS Secretary Price to Take Action on FDA Regulation of TobaccoMay 19, 2017 at 5:26 pm
This week, the ATS joined over 50 other physician public health organizations in a letter to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price MD, urging him to take action to ensure the FDA’s swift and comprehensive regulation of all tobacco products. The letter notes that the Administration has taken actions that appear to be showing wavering commitment to tobacco control. The letter states “the Department of Justice has requested extensions of time to file motions for summary judgment dismissing pending tobacco industry legal challenges to the deeming rule, citing the change in administration and new leadership at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as requiring additional time to “more fully consider” the issues raised by these challenges.” The letter also notes that the FDA recently announced that it will defer enforcement of all future compliance deadlines for e-cigarettes, cigars and all other products affected by the deeming rule, for three months.
While these actions don’t necessarily mean the FDA will change its policy on regulation of tobacco products, they do send a concerning signal that the Administration is considering revising the FDA’s final deeming rule. The ATS and our allies in the tobacco control world will continue to advocate with Congress and the Administration for full implementation of the FDA final deeming rule.