FDA Names Tobacco Chief

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FDA Names Tobacco Chief

ROCKVILLE, Md. -- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) named Veterans Affairs (VA) official Dr. Lawrence Deyton to the post of director of the agency's new tobacco division, Dow Jones Newswires reported.

FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said she personally interviewed six potential candidates.

In his career, Deyton started public health initiatives such as a program at the VA that lowered smoking rates among veterans, and was also a founder of the Whitman Walker Clinic, a community-based AIDS service organization in Washington, D.C., the report stated.

The position was created after President Barack Obama signed into law legislation giving the FDA the authority to regulate tobacco, and the FDA began looking for a czar to oversee the new division, according to the report.

With the new law, the FDA will charge tobacco companies an annual fee to pay for the regulation. The legislation also bans candy- and fruit-flavored cigarettes, and restricts companies to solely black and white advertisements, the report stated.

Hamburg said the FDA's tobacco division will likely house hundreds of FDA employees who will help the agency implement the new authority, and noted the FDA is also reorganizing the commissioner's office to help the agency communicate issues to the public and better oversee the tobacco industry, Dow Jones reported.

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