Photo by Andy Feliciotti on Unsplash

Earlier today, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s Center for Tobacco Products released their response to the scathing Reagan-Udall Foundation report that highlighted a stunning lack of direction and transparency within the Center. FDA’s response, authored by CTP Director Brian King, failed to engage with many of the issues identified throughout the Reagan-Udall evaluation.

This ‘response’ from Director King is highly inadequate and completely fails to address the critical issues that the Reagan-Udall Foundation found during their months-long review of the Center’s activates,” said Tim Andrews, Americans for Tax Reform’s Director of Consumer Issues.

“FDA has chosen to pursue prohibitionist policies to “fight back” against a nonexistent youth vaping epidemic. The consequences of FDA’s out-of-date response to vaping products has been massive surges in illicit smuggling that reduce state tax revenue and make vaping products more accessible to underage consumers.”

“FDA has caused these problems. The Reagan-Udall Foundation agrees with this assessment, as they stated in their report that CTP has “struggled to function as a regulator”, acknowledging that this ineptitude is “in part due to some of its own policy choice.” Director King’s announcement of steps to strengthen FDA’s tobacco program ignores this and instead plans to pursue additional funding through user fees on vaping products.”

“Since Director King and FDA are clearly unwilling to step in and fix the problems plaguing the Center for Tobacco Products, this falls upon Congress, and specifically the new Republican House Majority, to use oversight powers to reestablish trust in FDA and improve public health.”

“FDA’s report does recognize the prevalent and rampant misinformation about vaping products and plans to take action to improve public perception. FDA can best achieve this by publicly acknowledging, like the UK’s Royal College of Physicians, that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking and an effective way to help those who smoke quit their deadly habit. Millions of American lives depend on it. FDA must tell the truth.”