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House Committee Moves to Weaken Tobacco Regulation

Appropriations Bill Would Limit FDA Oversight of Electronic Cigarettes and Flavored Cigars

July 12, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. – July 12, 2017 – The U.S. House Appropriations Committee approved a bill today that would greatly weaken the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) oversight of tobacco products. The provision was included in the FY 2018 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Related Agencies appropriations bill.

A statement from Chris Hansen, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), follows:

“The appropriations language passed today would significantly limit the FDA’s ability to oversee several tobacco products that are increasingly popular with kids and teenagers, including flavored cigars and electronic cigarettes. 

“One provision adopted in the bill would require the FDA to exempt many cigars, including some cheap and flavored cigars, from oversight.  

“A second provision in the bill would change the ‘grandfather date’ under the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act and would allow cigars, e-cigarettes, and other tobacco products to escape a crucial first-step review by the FDA. This would make it easier for new products to stay on the market before the agency determines the public health risk and how, for example, flavors are being used to attract kids.

“These changes would benefit the cigar and e-cigarette industries at the expense of the nation’s public health. Congress made a commitment to protect the health of the American people when it passed the Tobacco Control Act. Today’s committee action is a serious breach of that promise.
“We urge the House to reject the committee’s pro-tobacco industry provisions and encourage the Senate to adopt a clean bill and not include the House proposals to undercut the FDA’s tobacco products oversight authority.”

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