WASHINGTON, D.C., December 12, 2019 – The American Heart Association, the world's leading nonprofit organization focused on heart and brain health for all, issued the following statement today following Senate confirmation of Stephen M. Hahn as commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA):
“We welcome the confirmation of a permanent FDA commissioner and look forward to working with Dr. Hahn to aggressively advance public health priorities in areas including tobacco control, nutrition, drug and device development and review and more.
“The crisis of rising tobacco use and nicotine addiction among youth must be Dr. Hahn’s top priority. Flavored tobacco is what causes most youth tobacco users to begin the habit, and flavors including fruit, candy, mint and menthol have driven the alarming rise of electronic cigarette use among kids in this country. We urge the administration to protect America’s children by moving forward with the plan announced in September to clear the market of flavored e-cigarettes, including mint and menthol. In addition, we urge the FDA to remove flavored cigars and menthol cigarettes, which also appeal to children.
“With applications for FDA authorization of e-cigarettes currently on the market due in May 2020, the agency must subject these products to rigorous review for the protection of public health. The FDA also must finalize new graphic warning labels for cigarettes by a court-ordered deadline of March 15, 2020 and move to implement them quickly. Further, the FDA must act to reduce nicotine in combustible tobacco products and facilitate the development of new nicotine replacement therapies within the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.
“We hope the FDA will continue its work to improve nutrition and reduce the burden of chronic disease, and we strongly urge the agency to advance voluntary sodium targets for food companies that could save billions in health care costs and improve lives. The FDA also must continue its work to bring innovative drugs and medical devices to market in a timely fashion while subjecting them to robust scientific review.”
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.
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