On June 18, FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb delivered remarks on “FDA’s Nicotine and Tobacco Regulation and the Key Role of Regulatory Science” at the Tobacco Regulatory Science Program Meeting. While discussing the use of science to inform the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products' regulatory efforts, the commissioner focused some of his remarks on the use electronic cigarettes as tools to help quit smoking as well as the FDA’s role in their regulation.
He said, “We believe in the concept of a continuum of risk related to tobacco products, and we believe there is a role for modified risk products. Further, we want to preserve e-cigs as one among a number of possible options for adult smokers and believe that fully transitioning smokers to ENDS can reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with tobacco use.” Preservation of e-cigs as a possible option for adult smokers entails better understanding “the potential benefits of electronic nicotine products as smoking cessation tools.”
In his remarks, the Commissioner cited a recent report by the National Academies of Sciences, entitled “Public Health Consequences of E-Cigarettes” which was commissioned by the FDA. The report makes clear the reduced harm of e-cigarettes compared to combustible cigarettes and that switching from regular use of combustible cigarettes to e-cigarettes results in reduced short-term adverse health outcomes in several organ systems.