New FDA Director to Participate in Panel at NATO Show

Thomas A. Briant, NATO Executive Director

Mitchell Zeller, the new director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP), has agreed to participate in a NATO-FDA panel discussion at the upcoming 2013 NATO Show.

The NATO-FDA panel discussion promises to be Zeller’s first major in-person interaction with a broad cross-section of the tobacco industry.

Joining Zeller on the panel will be Ann Simoneau, the FDA’s director of compliance and enforcement; Thomas Briant, NATO’s executive director; and Mary Szarmach, a NATO board member and vice president of marketing for Smoker Friendly International.

Zeller, an attorney, replaces Lawrence Deyton, who announced his resignation from the CTP last month. Zeller joins the CTP with more than 30 years of FDA-related experience, including six years of service as a public-interest attorney working on food issues, five years as a congressional legal counsel for food and drug issues, and seven years as a senior FDA official. He supervised the FDA’s original effort to assert jurisdiction over tobacco products in the mid-1990’s and was the founding director of the FDA’s Office of Tobacco Programs.

The NATO Show panel discussion featuring Zeller will cover a wide range of FDA retail tobacco topics, including the retail compliance inspection program, the process to submit comments on proposed FDA regulations, the agency’s Potential Tobacco Products Violation Form, and an update on the status of menthol in cigarettes. If the FDA issues proposed regulations prior to the NATO Show on tobacco products other than cigarettes, roll-your-own and smokeless tobacco products, then the proposed regulations will also be discussed among panel participants.

With the NATO Show only six weeks away, all tobacco retailers and wholesalers are encouraged to register to attend the trade show and hear firsthand from Zeller. Register for the April 22-24 event at