“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.
Dr. Scott Gottlieb who was deputy FDA commissioner during the George W. Bush administration, was appointed by President Donald Trump, and sworn in as the 23rd commissioner on May 11, 2017.
Gottlieb has apparently been commuting from Washington to his home in Connecticut to be with his family on a weekly basis, and administration official familiar with the situation said due to this, the resignation has been in the works for several months.
What will this mean for US vapers?
In 2017, public health activists and vapers alike had breathed a sigh of relief, when the FDA, had announced a new comprehensive plan for tobacco and nicotine regulation. Under this plan, the much disputed PreMarket Tobacco Applications (PMTAs), were delayed until 2022, and the agency had emphasized a change in stance towards harm reduction products, such as e-cigarettes.
On announcing the new tobacco plan, the FDA had demonstrated a greater awareness that nicotine, whilst being the addictive agent in cigarettes, is not the deadly component in them, tar is. Inline with this, back in 1976 founder of the tobacco harm-reduction theory Michael Russell, had pointed out that “people smoke for the nicotine but they die from the tar.”
However, this motion had attracted a lot of criticism by numerous entities and the FDA has been under pressure to change its stance ever since. To date the agency has not yet approved a single reduced-harm nicotine product.
Threats to the vaping industry
Meanwhile in recent months the FDA had adopted a harsher stance and Gottlieb has even warned e-cig manufacturers that vaping products could be taken off the market altogether if they fail to abide by the agency’s demands.
To date there are no updates as to who may replace Gottlieb, but many public health experts and vapers alike will be holding their breath, hoping that the new commissioner will be sensible in promoting regulations that are relative to risks and that any decisions will be based on sound scientific data.
Post time: Mar-07-2019