In approving Philip Morris product, IQOS, the FDA has once again demonstrated that it is not the appropriate agency to regulate nicotine and tobacco products. FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) has ignored its own scientific guidelines and the advice of public health experts around the country. In addition, Philip Morris has marketed IQOS in other countries in ways that clearly appeal to kids. The inexcusable mistakes that triggered the teen vaping epidemic and the appalling fumble of flavor regulation reverberate in this decision. FDA is constructed to work with manufacturers to bring healthful nutrition, therapeutics, and devices to the public. It is entirely unprepared to deal with an industry rooted in deception and deadly addiction. One of the first and most important public health actions of a new administration and congress should be to remove the CTP from the FDA and expeditiously replace its leadership.
July 10, 2020