Democrats Ask Drug Policy Office to Do More to Combat Opioid Epidemic
Twenty Democratic senators are asking the Office of National Drug Control Policy to do more to combat the opioid epidemic, according to the Associated Press.
A federal judge may soon decide whether the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has the authority to regulate electronic (e-) cigarettes as drug-delivery devices, the Christian Science Monitor reported Oct. 17.
The case challenging FDA authority over e-cigarettes was filed in Washington, D.C., in February, and a ruling from U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon on the case is expected soon.
The battery-powered devices provide a smokeless dose of nicotine to users and contain no tobacco. FDA officials contends that e-cigarettes are drug-delivery devices similar to nicotine gum, but the industry says they are merely alternatives to tobacco smoking.
Some health experts see the products as a safer choice than smoking, while others point to a risk of addiction. An FDA spokesperson said the agency has done preliminary research on e-cigarettes and their marketing. “What we are saying is for them to be sold, you should be able to evaluate how safe and effective they are — especially if they are a smoking replacement used over several years, perhaps a lifetime,” said the FDA's Siobhan DeLancey.