FDA Completes Tobacco Committee Membership

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Membership of the FDA's Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee was recently established, with Lorillard Tobacco Co.'s principal scientist, Dr. J. Daniel Heck, assuming the role of non-voting representative of the tobacco manufacturing industry.

"With the full membership of the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee now in place, Lorillard looks forward to working with the committee and contributing to its scientific review of menthol and other topics," the company said in a statement. "Lorillard remains confident that a serious examination of menthol science will show that the best available science does not support an assertion that menthol impacts public health."

Heck has more than 30 years of experience in research, with a record of peer-reviewed articles and studies, according to the company, which makes Newport, the No. 1 menthol cigarette brand in the U.S. Heck earned his doctorate in pharmacology and toxicology from the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in Houston, and has served as principal scientist at Lorillard since 2003.

Other members of the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee include:

-- Chair: Jonathan M. Samet, M.D., M.S.: Department of Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine.

-- Acting Designated Federal Official: Cristi L. Stark, M.S.: Center for Tobacco Products, FDA

-- Neal L. Benowitz, M.D.; Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, University of California.

-- Dorothy K. Hatsukami, Ph.D.: Tobacco Use Research Center, University of Minnesota.

-- Mark Stuart Clanton, M.D., M.P.H.: American Cancer Society

-- Gregory Niles Connolly, D.M.D., M.P.H.: Division of Public Health Practice, Harvard School of Public Health.

-- Karen L. DeLeeuw, M.S.W.: Center for Healthy Living and Chronic Disease Prevention, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

-- Representative of the General Public: Patricia Nez Henderson, M.P.H., M.D.: Black Hills Center for American Indian Health.

-- Jack E. Henningfield, Ph.D.: Research and Health Policy, Pinney Associates.

-- Luby Arnold Hamm, Jr.: Representative of the interests of tobacco growers, non-voting.

-- John H. Lauterbach, Ph.D., DABT: Representative for the interest of small business tobacco manufacturing industry, non-voting; Lauterbach & Associates LLC.

-- Melanie Wakefield, Ph.D.: Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer, The Cancer Council Victoria.

The Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee was established as part of the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which gave the FDA power to regulate tobacco. It was designed to advise the commissioner or designee in discharging responsibilities as they relate to the regulation of tobacco products, the FDA's Web site states.

The first meeting of the committee will be March 30, when it will receive presentations on the background and overview of the FDA Center for Tobacco Products, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act and the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee, according to the FDA's Web site. It will also receive presentations on and discuss published literature on menthol, covering user demographics, preferential use by persons initiating tobacco use, health effects, the effects of menthol on addiction and cessation, menthol marketing and consumer perceptions, sensory qualities and effect on how cigarettes are smoked.

On March 31, the committee will also discuss an action plan for the enforcement of restrictions on the advertising and promotion of menthol and other cigarettes to youth; and the establishment of a list of harmful tobacco product constituents, according to the Web site.

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