The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 (“the omnibus budget bill”) has been nearly six months in the making. And when all of the pieces were laid together–all 2200+ pages of it–the bill made its way through Congress and onto President Trump’s desk in just two days. The bill mentions “Food and Drug Administration” 12 times and “tobacco” 23 times, but language regarding modernizing the predicate date for products recently deemed to be tobacco by the FDA is absent. In other words, Section 753 (aka the Cole-Bishop amendment) of the Agricultural Appropriations bill has been left out.
With campaign season right around the corner, the omnibus budget bill is likely to be the last major piece of legislation to make its way through Congress in 2018. This, of course, means we can expect the same continuing resolution (CR) dance in September when Congress is supposed to come back to the trough for FY 2019 funding.
Where does vaping go from here?
For now, we must focus on dealing directly with the FDA, which has authority to establish new rules and standards for products the agency has deemed to be tobacco. Case in point: The FDA recently announced its advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) regarding nicotine content in cigarettes and another proposal to establish rules for flavored tobacco and vapor products.
The comment process is open to all and CASAA is encouraging our members to participate.
We encourage you to share your story about what role flavored vapor and smokeless tobacco products play in helping you live smoke-free.The ANPRM poses a set of specific questions to stakeholders, policy makers, and scientists, which we will be reviewing in order to offer specific guidance to our members for submitting additional comments. (You may submit as many comments as you wish.)
Points to think about and include in your comments:
- Why you decided to try a smoke-free product.
- What role did the flavor play in your motivation to try?
- What flavors do you use regularly and how often do you switch between flavors?
- How long have you been smoke-free or, if you are still smoking, how much have you reduced?
- Did you use cigarettes and smoke-free products for a period of time (“dual use”) before completely switching to a smoke-free product?
You can access the docket and add your voice by clicking here.
Comments are being accepted until June 19th, 2018.
For additional FDA comment opportunities, please visit August8th.org!