WASHINGTON, DC | December 20, 2022
“The Reagan-Udall Foundation report on the FDA’s tobacco program provides some important recommendations for FDA and the Center for Tobacco Products (CTP). We agree with the report’s primary conclusions that CTP should:
- become a more proactive and strategic program;
- become more efficient and transparent;
- make process improvements;
- identify and address the policy and scientific questions that underpin its regulatory framework; and
- work with the Department of Justice and other government agencies to clear the market of illegal tobacco products more rapidly.
“The FDA’s obligation under the Tobacco Control Act is not ‘harm reduction’ but health protection. Unlike other centers at FDA, its responsibility is not to bring more products to market but end the sale of products that don’t meet the public health standard. The Tobacco Control Act also empowered the Center for Tobacco Products to require changes to existing tobacco products if such changes meet its public health mandate – including ending the sale of all menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars. Fundamentally, the ‘appropriate for the protection of the public health’ standard is about ending our national tobacco epidemic, not promoting certain tobacco products.
“The American Lung Association was pleased to see the specific recommendations around enforcement and transparency. The Department of Justice (DOJ) and law enforcement agencies are critical to enforcing key provisions of the Tobacco Control Act. The Lung Association continues its call for strict enforcement of the Tobacco Control Act that gets illegal products off the market much more quickly.
“We are confident that the FDA’s leadership, including FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf and Center for Tobacco Products Director Dr. Brian King, will move the Center’s mission forward to protect the public health. We look forward to working with the FDA to support the recommendations in this report that will advance its efforts to improve public health. Most notably, we urge FDA to finalize the two rules that would end the sale of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars in early 2023.”
For media interested in speaking with an expert, contact the American Lung Association at [email protected] or at 312-940-7001.
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, which has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and is a Platinum-Level GuideStar Member, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org. To support the work of the American Lung Association, find a local event at Lung.org/events.
We urgently need your help against Big Tobacco!
Saving lives starts by ending the sale of menthol cigarettes and all flavored cigars. Join us in urging the White House to finalize these rules before the end of the year.