PHILADELPHIA — The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) applauds the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) proposal to extend its regulatory authority to additional tobacco products as part of the implementation of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. The FDA’s proposed rule signals the agency’s intent to regulate products that meet the statutory definition of “tobacco products” and that are not currently regulated by the agency. These products may include e-cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, nicotine gels, hookah tobacco, and dissolvables.
“The use of electronic cigarettes is on the rise,” said Roy S. Herbst, M.D., Ph.D., chief of medical oncology at Yale Cancer Center and chair of the AACR Tobacco and Cancer Subcommittee. “We do not know the nature of the long-term health consequences of these devices or what effect they will have on smoking continuation or uptake by adults and youth. Therefore, FDA regulation of these products is appropriate and welcomed by the AACR.”
Tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States and contributes to 18 types of cancer and one-third of all cancer deaths. Although cigarette smoking in the United States has declined significantly, the AACR is concerned about the increasing use of other dangerous combustible tobacco products and the rise in the use of e-cigarettes, especially among our nation’s youth.
“It is imperative that the FDA regulates all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and cigars, and prohibit the sale and marketing of these products to children,” said Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D. (h.c.), chief executive officer of the AACR. "In the absence of such regulation, consumers are at risk, most significantly our nation’s children. Therefore, the proposed rule is an important step forward in expanding the FDA’s regulation of tobacco and protecting the health of the American people.”
The AACR will be providing input on the FDA’s proposed actions during the open public comment period and urges the FDA to move quickly to issue final regulations once the comment period closes.