Oversight Subcommittee Examined the Trump Administration’s Delayed Response to the Youth E-Cigarette Epidemic

Dec 5, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. (Dec. 5, 2019)—Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, held a hearing entitled, “The Federal Response to the Epidemic of E-Cigarette Use, Especially Among Children, and the Food and Drug Administration’s Compliance Policy.”

TAKEAWAYS

  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Director of the Center for Tobacco Products Mitch Zeller testified that the Trump Administration’s flavor ban is delayed because of irregular, “parallel policy discussions,” which includes “various parts of the White House.”
  • Director Zeller identified Joe Grogan, the President’s Domestic Policy Council Director, as one of the White House officials participating in the “parallel policy discussions”.  Mr. Grogan has previously called FDA regulation of tobacco products  "a huge waste of time."
  • Director Zeller testified that he would resign if “we wound up with a fundamentally flawed policy, for whatever reason,” including political influence.
  • White House Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway previously speculated that FDA might not have jurisdiction over vape shops, and implied they may be excluded from the ban.  Director Zeller testified that FDA unquestionably does have jurisdiction over vape shops, and that it would be illegal under the Tobacco Control Act to exempt vape shops from a flavor ban.  Director Zeller also confirmed that it would be bad policy to exempt vape shops, as studies confirm that vape shops sell to kids at twice the rate of gas stations and convenience stores. 

WITNESS

Mitch Zeller
Director, Center for Tobacco Products
Food and Drug Administration

VIDEOS 

Watch Chairman Krishnamoorthi’s closing statement.  
Watch Chairman Krishnamoorthi’s question line.
Watch Rep. Connolly’s question line.  
Watch Rep. Wasserman Schultz’s question line.  
Watch Rep. Khanna’s question line.

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116th Congress