Earlier this week the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) edited and deleted numerous components in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) proposal for tobacco regulations. One of the biggest modifications OMB made was removing any restrictions that could prevent the sale of e-cigarettes online. In the FDA’s original proposal it called for “prohibition of non-face-to-face sales (e.g. vending machines).” However, the phrasing of this proposal left far too much room for the FDA to slip in a ban for online sales as well. Additionally, concerns presented by the FDA regarding the safety, manufacturing process and quality of e-cigarettes and cigars was deleted or heavily modified by the OMB.
In addition to modifying most of the e-cigarette policies proposed by the FDA, the OMB also changed and even removed a large amount of information regarding cigars. Besides editing the possible health risks thought to be associated with cigars, the OMB also decided to exclude “premium cigars” from regulation. The FDA’s claim that public health costs will rise to $32.6 million - $34.3 million if cigar manufacturers don’t place large and disturbing warning labels on their packages was also deleted from the proposal. These regulatory reviews are absolutely essential to conduct, and as Emily Cain stated, (the spokeswoman from OMB), they must be “based upon the best available evidence”.
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