August 19, 2009

FDA starts new Center for Tobacco Products

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says it is opening a Center for Tobacco Products in an effort to curb the deaths caused by such products each year.

Dr. Lawrence Deyton, a clinical professor of medicine at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, will serve at the facility's first director.

The center will oversee the implementation of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act signed by President Obama in June 2009, the federal agency said in a statement. The FDA's responsibilities under the law include setting performance standards, reviewing premarket applications for new and modified risk tobacco products, and establishing and enforcing advertising and promotion restrictions.

The center, located at the FDA's White Oak Campus in Silver Spring, Md., will initially be funded with $5 million from the fiscal year 2009 budget to establish necessary administrative functions. Routine funding will come from user fees paid by manufacturers and importers of tobacco products, officials said.

I am eager for the challenge of leading the tobacco team at FDA, said Deyton. This is a tremendous opportunity for us at FDA to work hand-in-hand with the CDC, researchers at the National Institutes of Health and public health leaders in the states to make progress in combating tobacco use -- the leading cause of preventable death in the United States.