Language that would have significantly limited the availability of flavored tobacco products in the near future has been removed from the FDA’s final rule.
Attempts made by the FDA to remove flavored tobacco products from the market has been thwarted by a White House office that has removed language from the FDA’s recently introduced tobacco regulation that would have removed flavored e-cigarettes from the market when the regulation goes into effect.
According to a report from Reuters, the final rule from the FDA, which was announced on May 5, has extended the FDA’s tobacco authority to cover electronic cigarettes, pipe tobacco, cigars and hookah. The rule will go into effect in August 2016, and at that point, companies will need to acquire marketing authorization for any tobacco product introduced after Feb. 15, 2007.
The rule, as it was originally submitted by the FDA, would have allowed only 90 days after the rule took effect for flavored tobacco products to receive marketing authorization from the FDA, while non-flavored products would be allowed up to two years grace. Reuters reported that, had this language remained in-tact, the majority of flavored tobacco products would have been removed from the market until the FDA granted them authorization to be sold.
Public health officials have long fought for a ban of flavored tobacco products, as they appeal to a younger consumer, and may spark smoking habits. Reuters reported that the FDA provided data to the White House Office of Management and Budget that supported the claim that flavored tobacco products has led to an increase in youth and young adult use, but the language that would have taken such products off the market has been eliminated from the FDA’s final rule.