On Monday, approximately 70 House Republicans, led by Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC), signed an important letter urging the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to “expedite consideration of long-pending applications for smoke-free tobacco products that could improve public health by providing adult smokers access to less harmful options.”  

In order to reduce smoking-related deaths in America it is vital for FDA to follow the science and approve these lifesaving products  which are shown to be 95% less harmful than cigarettes and the most effective tool for smoking cessation. This letter is a critical step in forcing them to do so.  

The letter also acknowledges the importance of these products being sold only to adult smokers trying to quit, and to prevent underage use saying: “In recent weeks there have been calls on the FDA to ban certain nicotine-containing products due to the potential of underage use. There is no debate: youth should not have access to nicotine- containing products, nor should youth be subject to marketing or advertising of these products on social media.” However, as the letter rightly points out, banning these products only makes the market go underground and leads to less age verification and more cigarettes in the hands of youth, while denying adults access to lifesaving products. 

According to the letter FDA has authorized thousands of combustible product applications, but 50 smoke-free products were approved and less than 10 of which are available commercially. It is critical to the tobacco harm reduction fight for FDA to continue to approve reduced risk smoking alternatives and help decrease smoking related deaths. Americans for Tax Reform supports this letter and encourages other to sign and participate.  

A copy of the letter is below: