To the FDA: Close, but no cigar.
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
We at NAATPN are pleased at the news that the Food and Drug Administration has finally ruled to exercise its authority and regulate ALL tobacco products including e-cigarettes, cigars, hookah tobacco and pipe tobacco. Not only will the FDA now establish provisions for the manufacturing, importation and retailing of all such tobacco products, but new regulations also include:
- Pre-market review of the products
- Requirements to report ingredients and potentially harmful additives in the products
- Placement of health warnings on product packaging
- Oversight of marketing and advertising of products
This is a huge step in tobacco prevention. Ultimately, we know it will protect underprivileged communities who disproportionately suffer death and disease due to these products.
At the same time that we offer our congratulations, we want to point out one area where the FDA is still missing the mark.
Since 2009 we have implored the FDA to exercise its authority and place a ban on the sale of mentholated tobacco products just as it did for flavored cigarettes. Endless research has confirmed that a menthol ban could save millions of lives (Black lives in particular) and reduce youth initiation to tobacco. Having the authority to regulate e-cigarettes and little cigars is a major achievement and a victory for tobacco control. But the FDA already has the authority to regulate mentholated tobacco products and they have failed. Miserably.
So while we stand alongside our partners to celebrate our contributions in making this new area of regulation a reality, we must also say to the FDA that you are close, but no cigar.
We look forward to day when the FDA prioritizes the issue of menthol in tobacco products. Click here to learn more about why the FDA should ban mentholated tobacco products.