Released last Monday, Trump’s budget request, calls for the creation of an entirely new agency that would fall under the Department of Health and Human Services, in order to regulate tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. Prior to this proposal, there didn’t seem to be much interest among lawmakers to make such a change, however in 2019, the director of Trump’s Domestic Policy Council Joe Grogan, did say that he didn’t see the point in tobacco being regulated by the FDA.
“FDA regulates drugs, which help people. … It regulates devices, which help people. Tobacco has no redeeming qualities,” said Grogan last November. Meanwhile, the budget request pointed out that this change would give the FDA commissioner to “focus on its traditional mission of ensuring the safety of the nation’s food and medical supply.”
According to the proposal, the commissioner leading the suggested tobacco regulations agency would be someone, who like the FDA commissioner, has to be confirmed by the Senate “in order to increase direct accountability and more effectively respond to this critical area of public health concern.” While currently, the person in charge of tobacco regulations is the director of the Center for Tobacco Products, and since this is an FDA department, the director role doesn’t need Senate confirmation.
FDA criticized from both ends
The fact that the ban is applicable to cartridges and nicotine pods with flavours other than tobacco and menthol, and did not include e-liquids, has left anti-vaping advocates enraged, saying that this will only lead to youth switching products. While on the other end of the spectrum, the vaping industry keeps pointing out that flavour bans are not the answer, since the devices are used by smokers seeking to quit.
Read Further: Washington Examiner