In a highly anticipated House Oversight hearing, consumer advocates speak out against the FDA’s alarming neglect in facilitating access to safer nicotine alternatives for millions of adult consumers. Despite the bipartisan mandate of the Tobacco Control Act of 2009, the FDA’s performance has fallen short of expectations, leaving countless individuals without viable options to effectively transition away from combustible cigarettes.

Elizabeth Hicks, US Policy Analyst at Consumer Choice Center responds, “With over 26 million premarket tobacco product applications (PMTA) languishing in bureaucratic limbo, the FDA has only authorized fewer than 50 granted to just a handful of firms, completely disregarding the 180-day review deadline set imposed by Congress. Less than 10 unique devices are available on the regulated marketplace, all of which come from industry incumbents, not to mention the growing categories of nicotine alternatives such as heaters, pouches, toothpicks, and more.

“This blatant failure highlights a systemic issue within the agency, where regulatory inertia trumps the urgent need to provide consumers with safer nicotine alternatives such as e-cigarettes which studies have shown to be 95% less harmful than combustible cigarettes. As a result, consumers are being pushed towards the illicit market, which does not adhere to regulatory standards, to find their preferred nicotine alternative products,” said Hicks.

“Consumers are deeply troubled by the FDA’s abject failure to fulfill its obligations under the Tobacco Control Act. It is imperative that the FDA swiftly rectify this situation by implementing a transparent and expedited regulatory pathway that prioritizes access to scientifically validated, less harmful nicotine products,” she concluded.

Originally published here



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