Trump Administration Proposes New Federal Agency to Regulate Tobacco

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Trump Administration Proposes New Federal Agency to Regulate Tobacco

the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is preparing to review premarket tobacco applications for newly deemed tobacco products come May, but if President Trump had his way, it may not have to.

According to The Hill, Trump wants to create a new regulatory agency to oversee tobacco. The proposal, which is part of the White House's budget request for the upcoming fiscal year, would make the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products an independent agency with a director confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

The new agency would still fall under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

"A new agency with the singular mission on tobacco and its impact on public health would have greater capacity to respond strategically to the growing complexity of new tobacco products," the budget request reads. 

"In addition, this reorganization would allow the FDA commissioner to focus on its traditional mission of ensuring the safety of the nation's food and medical products supply," it continues. 

In 2009, Congress passed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act giving the agency the authority to regulate tobacco products. President Obama signed into law in June of that year.

The budget request is only a proposal, and according to The Hill, Congress is unlikely to pass the proposal in its current form.

Joe Grogan, head of the White House Domestic Policy Council, previously said that tobacco regulation was a "huge waste of time" for the FDA.

"Tobacco has no redeeming qualities and it should not be regulated by a health agency like this," Grogan said last year, adding tobacco regulation is a "huge distraction" for the FDA.

Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb pushed back at the time, tweeting that tobacco regulation is one of the agency's "most important public health missions." 

Gottlieb stepped down from the position this in early April. Stephen Hahn was sworn in as the agency's new commissioner on Dec.17, as Convenience Store News previously reported.