NACS believes commissioner’s abrupt resignation won’t diminish focus on tobacco crackdown
By NACS Online // March 07, 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Despite his unexpected resignation on Tuesday, March 5th, FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said that his efforts to halt youth smoking and vaping have broad bipartisan support and had nothing to do with his decision to leave his post, according to the Washington Post.
Speaking to a forum sponsored by The Hill, he denied that he resigned over strong pushback for some of his active regulatory stances, including his efforts to prevent convenience stores from selling some legal tobacco and vape items. He added that no policy disagreement with the Trump administration had forced him out. He simply wants to return full time to his family in Connecticut after less than two years in the job.
Despite Gottlieb’s resignation, NACS feels that the commissioner wants to finalize his tobacco policymaking before departing the FDA post about a month from now. “At this time, we think there is no reason to believe that the FDA will back off the as yet, unseen proposal they presented to the White House,” said Lyle Beckwith, senior vice president of government relations, NACS. “If anything, we expect the commissioner to spend his final month pushing even harder for it as his legacy achievement.”
On March 1st, it was reported that Gottlieb presented a plan to the White House to effectively ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes (other than mint/menthol and tobacco flavors) in convenience stores. The agency’s plan prohibits the sale of flavored e-cigarettes in c-stores, while allowing these products to still be sold in vape stores (or other adult-only stores) and on the internet. Opponents, including NACS, argue that the FDA is unfair in targeting convenience retailers in its effort to crackdown on the underage usage of e-cigarettes.
NACS is urging members of the c-store industry to contact their congressional representatives immediately and ask them to tell the White House to stop the assault on convenience stores. A pre-drafted emailhas been prepared and posted online to make contacting congressional members easy. NACS members also are encouraged to phone the offices of those representatives and leave feedback on this issue. Talking points for those phone calls are available at the same link and will appear on your screen when you enter your name and physical address into the online form.