American Lung Association Praises FDA’s Establishment of New Center for Tobacco Products

(August 19, 2009)

Statement of Charles D. Connor, American Lung Association President and CEO:

Today’s announcement by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that it is establishing a new Center for Tobacco Products and has selected a new director for the Center, Lawrence Deyton, MSPH, MD, is a strong and encouraging signal that FDA intends to move quickly to implement its new authority over tobacco products. The American Lung Association applauds this quick action by FDA, which takes place about two months after President Obama signed life-saving legislation giving FDA much needed authority to regulate tobacco products.

We look forward to working with Dr. Deyton in his new role as the Director of FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products. He previously played a crucial role at the U.S. Veterans Administration in increasing the percentage of veterans offered assistance in quitting, ended the sale of tobacco products at VA facilities and played an important role in commissioning an Institute of Medicine study laying out specific steps the VA and Department of Defense can do to reduce tobacco use in our military.

The American Lung Association encourages FDA to continue its so far stellar job of implementing its new authority over tobacco products by aggressively implementing the ban on the sale of all candy- and fruit-flavored cigarettes in September as called for in the legislation. Tobacco companies use candy and fruit flavors in their products in order to tempt kids to try smoking. We need FDA to continue its strong implementation of its new authority to help save our kids from a lifetime of addiction to tobacco products.