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NAQC Newsroom: Tobacco Control

First Meeting of FDA Tobacco Products Advisory Committee Announced

Wednesday, March 10, 2010  
The first meeting of the FDA’s Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC) will be held on March 30–31 in Washington, DC, the agency announced last week. The committee’s formation was mandated under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which President Obama signed into law last June.

Also announced were the nine voting members of the advisory committee. The committee will include three nonvoting members who represent different components of the tobacco industry, but those members have yet to be selected, the FDA noted in a statement. Dr. Jonathan Samet of the University of Southern California’s Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center will chair the committee.

"FDA will be faced with many challenging tobacco-related public health, science, and regulatory issues as we move forward with implementation of the Tobacco Control Act,” said Dr. Lawrence R. Deyton, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, in a statement. "The breadth of knowledge amassed by this highly-qualified group will supplement and enhance the agency’s understanding of tobacco control, prevention, and health promotion issues.”

The advisory committee’s first meeting will focus on menthol, a common additive in cigarettes. Although the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act banned the addition of candy-like flavorings and certain other additives to cigarettes, menthol was not part of that prohibition. The law did, however, direct the TPSAC to deliver a report to the HHS secretary on the public health impact of menthol cigarettes, and, based on the report’s findings, the FDA has the authority to take further regulatory action with regard to menthol.

Presentations at the March meeting will cover a broad array of research on menthol cigarettes, such as the demographics of menthol cigarette users, the influence of these demographics on smoking initiation, and menthol’s effect on how cigarettes are smoked.

Accessed: March 10, 2010

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