Weakening the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) regulatory authority over tobacco could have an adverse impact on tobacco use, according to advocacy groups.
Congress is considering a bill that would allow flavored e-cigarettes and other non-traditional cigarette tobacco products to stay on the market, despite the enactment of a rule last year that gives FDA regulatory authority over all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and cigars.
“This is especially troubling because the Surgeon General has found that these flavors are particularly attractive to kids,” said Erika Sward of the American Lung Association. She noted that flavorings are believed to be a major cause of the more than 10-fold increase in e-cigarette use among high school-age students between 2011 and 2015. There is “real concern about what lies ahead for reducing tobacco use and, specifically, whether the FDA’s existing authority will be weakened,” she told MedPage Today.