APA continues to advocate for tobacco control and cessation coverage
APA partnered with the Center for Tobacco Free Kids and other leading public health advocates to lobby against the exemption of cigars from FDA oversight
This month marks the three year anniversary since the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act was signed giving the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulatory authority over tobacco products. However as the bill that funds the FDA has worked its way through the appropriations process, new attempts have been made to exclude certain tobacco products from FDA oversight, in this case cigars. APA partnered with the Center for Tobacco Free Kids and other leading public health advocates to lobby against any possible amendments that would provide a cigar exemption or reduce the resources available to the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products to continue science-based regulation of all tobacco products. It’s still possible that such an amendment could be offered during a vote on the bill by the full House of Representatives before the August recess but hopefully letters sent to all House Members (PDF, 710KB) will minimize efforts to obstruct FDA’s authority or resources. In any case, FDA continues to invest those resources into new research projects, most recently the Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science for Research Relevant to the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act — a P50 Center grant competition to be coordinated by FDA and eight participating NIH Institutes. Other active FDA funding announcements related to tobacco control can be viewed online. Following the Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), APA partnered with the American Lung Association and other public health advocates to urge the Secretary of Health and Human Services to collect as much information as possible (PDF, 304KB) on the availability of comprehensive tobacco cessation programs to ensure that those treatment services are covered as Essential Health Benefits in implementing the ACA. The recent appeal followed an earlier effort (PDF, 571KB) initiated by many of the same groups at the beginning of 2012.