Over at Slate, I have a quick take on the new FDA regulations governing flavored e-cigarettes:
The announcement marks a striking departure from Gottlieb’s tenure at the FDA so far. A former fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, he was widely expected to champion deregulatory policies on e-cigarettes—which are, it’s worth saying, essential harm-reduction tools. One of his first significant actions was to delay overly burdensome rules that could have forced thousands of e-cigarettes off the market, imposed impossibly high costs on manufacturers, and subjected all remaining products to an opaque process of pre-market review. This was widely viewed as a victory for harm reduction, winning praise both from free-market libertarians and many public health advocates. In contrast, the policies revealed on Thursday are unlikely to please anyone: They fall short of the complete ban on flavored e-cigarettes that some anti-tobacco groups have championed, but make it harder for adult vapers to access the products they want
Expect more from me later next week on the longer term implications of the FDA’s current approach to tobacco regulation.