Despite decades of efforts to reduce tobacco use, it continues to be the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States, according to information provided by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). To address this public health problem, the FDA proposed a new rule that would extend the agency’s tobacco authority to cover additional tobacco products that meet the definition of a tobacco product under the proposed rule: Tobacco Products Deemed To Be Subject to the Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act.
Currently, the FDA regulates cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco and smokeless tobacco. However, the proposed rule would expand this list. Tobacco products that would be deemed subject to FDA regulation would include electronic cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, nicotine gels, waterpipe (or hookah) tobacco and dissolvables currently not under the authority of the FDA.
Once the proposed rule becomes final, the FDA will be able to use regulatory tools, such as age restrictions and rigorous scientific review of new tobacco products and claims to reduce
tobacco-related disease and death.
The FDA is now accepting public comment on the proposed rule until July 9, 2014. Comments may be submitted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov.