“I’m very confident of that, and I’m very confident that we’re going to continue with this policy over the next month, including the policy that we’ve been formulating,” said Gottlieb during an event on Wednesday.
“I’m very confident that we’re going to continue with this policy over the next month, including the policy that we’ve been formulating”
Last Tuesday, the Commissioner announced his resignation in a letter to the agency’s staff. “It’s is hard for me to write this note to share with you the news that I’ll be leaving my job as the Commissioner of Food and Drugs in the next month. There’s perhaps nothing that could pull me away from this role other than the challenge of being apart from my family for these past two years and missing my wife and three young children,” read the letter, which the FDA tweeted.
Meanwhile, Gottlieb assures that the agency will continue on its path to eradicate teen vaping. “I think there is widespread recognition that this is a major public health crisis. I think for the vaping community and the tobacco industry this is an existential threat,” he said, adding, “I don’t think they fully appreciate what they’re facing and the tsunami that they’re facing if we don’t get this under control.”
Are the FDA’s claims about teen vaping justified?
According to the FDA, there has been a 78% increase in vaping among high school students from 2017 to 2018, and a 48% increase among middle school students. However some anti-smoking and public health experts have spoken up in response to these claims, saying that the agency is exaggerating the risks of e-cigarettes, and that its efforts are unjustified. Additionally, public health expert Clive Bates added that the actual data which would support the FDA’s actions have not even been released yet.
“..the partial release of data does not provide justification for FDA’s policy. This is because the data required to understand underlying changes in the pattern of tobacco use has been withheld. In other words, the data to create alarm has been released, but the data required to understand if the alarm is justified and the policy is sound has not been released,” said Bates in a blog post.
The anti-smoking advocate pointed out that while usually, results would be published in headline form about a year later (2017 data was published in June 2018) and full datasets some time after that, this year has been different. The CDC and FDA, who co authored the report “have rushed out data that they argue supports the claim there is an ‘epidemic’ of teenage vaping use.”