The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse Commends the FDA for Extending its Tobacco Control Authority to All Tobacco Products, but Urges Further Action to Protect Youth From Their Harms | Center on Addiction

The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse Commends the FDA for Extending its Tobacco Control Authority to All Tobacco Products, but Urges Further Action to Protect Youth From Their Harms

The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse Commends the FDA for Extending its Tobacco Control Authority to All Tobacco Products, but Urges Further Action to Protect Youth From Their Harms

May 06, 2016

The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, an organization that has worked tirelessly for nearly a quarter century to protect young people from addictive substances, applauds the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) announcement regarding extending its oversight of tobacco products to electronic cigarettes, hookah (water pipe), cigars, dissolvables, and other previously unregulated products that are widely available to youth.

The FDA has appropriately stepped in to fill the regulatory void that has allowed nicotine products to flood the market unchecked, at great risk to our nation’s youth and to the public health.

This long-overdue regulatory authority, if effectively implemented and enforced, will go a long way toward bringing sensible guidelines, restrictions and safety standards to a largely unbridled market. It will reduce the accessibility of potentially addictive and harmful products to youth, while still allowing long-term cigarette smokers to switch to potentially less harmful nicotine products knowing that they have gone through the FDA’s rigorous standards regarding safe manufacturing and distribution. No parent wants their children to use nicotine products, and no adult should want to use a product that has not met basic standards regarding its contents, dosage and health claims.

The FDA’s final rule giving the agency regulatory authority over the sale, marketing and manufacturing of all tobacco products is an essential first step, but just as important is how exactly it will implement this authority. To be effective, our Center urges the FDA to do everything in its power to make all tobacco and nicotine products less toxic, less addictive and less appealing. This includes exercising its authority to:

  • Ban all flavorings, including menthol, from all nicotine and tobacco products
  • Implement and enforce product standards that minimize the health risks and addictive potential of all nicotine and tobacco products
  • Require effective, research-based warnings regarding not only the addictive nature of nicotine, but also the health risks of the many ingredients and potentially toxic constituents that these products contain
  • Resist attempts by the tobacco industry to weaken or undermine the regulation of tobacco and nicotine products and current efforts to protect the public health

We also urge state and local governments to enhance tobacco control efforts in areas outside the FDA’s current jurisdiction, including increasing the minimum age of sale for all tobacco and nicotine products to 21 and broadening smoke-free indoor/outdoor air laws to include all tobacco products. California laudably announced these policy changes today and we hope that other states and localities quickly follow suit.

The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse knows all too well how addictive substances have ravaged our nation’s health and well-being and driven up health care costs. The FDA and other federal, state and local government bodies should do everything in their power to use effective, sensible and research-based policies and programs to reduce the harms of existing addictive products and limit the dissemination of new ones.

 

Media

Media Specialist

(212) 841.5293 ​
cross@centeronaddiction.org

media@centeronaddiction.org

Media

Communications and Digital Associate

(212) 841.5206 

media@centeronaddiction.org

Media

Director of Digital Communications

(212) 841.5225

media@centeronaddiction.org

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