President Donald Trump’s proposed FY 2021 budget calls for a new agency to regulate tobacco products, removing that control from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
While the budget is largely symbolic—the government’s budget is controlled by Congress—it does represent the White House’s thinking and priorities.
Reforms Oversight of Tobacco Products. The Budget proposes to move the Center for Tobacco Products out of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and create a new agency within HHS to focus on tobacco regulation. This new agency would be led by a Senate-confirmed Director in order to increase direct accountability and more effectively respond to this critical area of public health concern. A new agency with the singular mission on tobacco and its impact on public health would have greater capacity to respond strategically to the growing complexity of new tobacco products. In addition, this reorganization would allow the FDA Commissioner to focus on its traditional mission of ensuring the safety of the Nation’s food and medical products supply.
This idea isn’t entirely new.
Last November, Joe Grogan—director of the White House’s domestic policy council—said the same thing. Neither are calling for the end of tobacco regulation, just that it should no longer be handled by FDA.
A change like this would require more than just Trump’s backing, it would need the approval of Congress.