WASHINGTON, D.C. — American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown issued the following comments on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s new plan for tobacco and nicotine regulation, announced today:
“FDA’s move today to lower nicotine levels and take a harder look at how flavored tobacco products attract the young is to be commended. However, the Association is disappointed with the agency’s decision to delay certain e-cigarette and cigar compliance deadlines. Altering the deadline for FDA review of e-cigarettes and cigars is a troubling step and one that we will closely monitor.
We are also concerned that the FDA has raised the possibility of exempting premium cigars in the future. Tobacco in any form presents risk. That’s why we have advocated for – and will continue to insist – that FDA oversight of all tobacco products is absolutely essential. Premium cigars are no different. Cigars are a concern because high school-aged males now smoke them at a higher rate than cigarettes. As we have seen in recent Senate legislation, often the definition for “premium cigars” creates a loophole that allows the flavored and cheap cigars that attract youth to qualify as “premium.” Weakening the deeming rule in any way could lead to an increasing number of Americans at risk for heart disease, stroke or even an early death due to tobacco use.
As the FDA carries out its new nicotine and tobacco plan, we urge the agency to remember that protecting public health, particularly the health of young people in this country, should be at the very top of its priority list. While we look forward to agency actions that can lower the number of Americans exposed to the harms of combustible tobacco, the FDA must advance all tobacco regulation. We must not take two steps forward and then one step back.”
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
About the American Stroke Association
The American Stroke Association is devoted to saving people from stroke — the No. 2 cause of death in the world and a leading cause of serious disability. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat stroke. The Dallas-based association officially launched in 1998 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit StrokeAssociation.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association receives funding mostly from individuals. Foundations and corporations donate as well, and fund specific programs and events. Strict policies are enforced to prevent these relationships from influencing the Association’s science content. Financial information for the American Heart Association, including a list of contributions from pharmaceutical companies and device manufacturers, is available at http://www.heart.org/corporatefunding.