Washington — The ADA and a coalition of like-minded stakeholders are urging House appropriators to “oppose any efforts” to weaken the Food and Drug Administration’s authority to regulate cigars or other tobacco products.
In a June 30 letter to House Appropriations Chair Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., and Ranking Member Kay Granger, R-Texas, the coalition told lawmakers that tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States. The groups also noted more than 480,000 Americans die from tobacco use each year, and more than 16 million Americans are currently living with a tobacco-caused disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“With the enactment of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act in 2009, Congress recognized that all tobacco products should be overseen by an agency with expertise in assessing health risks and experience promulgating science-based regulation,” the coalition said.
Despite tobacco manufacturers’ efforts over the years to have their products excluded from the FDA’s authority or calls to weaken FDA oversight, the groups said they were grateful that Congress has not restricted FDA’s statutory authority.
“All tobacco products pose risks to health and should adhere to science-based public health protections,” the coalition said.
“We are grateful that Congress has rejected efforts in the past to weaken FDA’s authority over tobacco products, and we urge you to once again reject any such efforts during consideration of the FY 2022 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill,” the letter concluded.
For more information on the ADA’s advocacy efforts on tobacco, visit ADA.org/tobacco.