Trump Recommends New Tobacco Regulation Agency

The proposal would take oversight of tobacco away from the Food and Drug Administration. 

February 12, 2020

WASHINGTON—The Trump Administration has proposed yanking tobacco oversight from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to a new, independent agency, Politico reports. The tobacco agency would be helmed by a director confirmed by the Senate.

The White House indicated the agency would “increase direct accountability and more effectively respond to this critical area of public health concern.” Officials further pointed out that such an agency would have more manpower to navigate the growing variety of tobacco products, as well as free the FDA commissioner to pay more attention to the “safety of the nation’s food and medical products supply.”

Discussions about regulating electronic cigarettes took over the November 2019 hearing for Stephen Hahn’s confirmation as the agency’s new commissioner. Also in the fall, Joe Grogan, domestic policy advisor to the president, said the agency should be working more on new medications rather than regulating tobacco. “Tobacco has no redeeming qualities, and it shouldn’t be regulated by a health agency like this,” Grogan said.