Tom Price has resigned as secretary of Health and Human Services, the federal government branch that oversees the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
His resignation comes after multiple reports that he used over $1 million in private jet travel, which was paid for by taxpayers. Yesterday, Price indicated he would pay back roughly $50,000 for the travel costs.
The news affects cigar smokers as Price’s umbrella of control included FDA, which is currently reevaluating its deeming regulations over cigars and is being sued by three cigar trade groups.
The White House releases the Price resignation letter : pic.twitter.com/CCCvfdXiUV
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) September 29, 2017
Price, a former orthopedic surgeon, previously served as a Republican congressman from Georgia. Twice, he co-sponsored bills that would have exempted premium cigars from FDA control. When he was confirmed in February, many in the cigar industry were thrilled at the appointment given his previous cigar-specific stances and his general pro-business attitudes.
It’s unclear who will succeed Price at the top of HHS, but whoever it is will have to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
Don J. Wright, the current deputy assistant secretary for health and director of the office of disease prevention and health promotion, will serve as the acting secretary.