Another indication of a change in direction under President Donald Trump came with the appointment of Dr. Scott Gottlieb to lead the FDA. Despite initial concerns about Gottlieb’s ties to electronic cigarettes due to an investment in the Charlotte, N.C.-based vaping company Kure Corp., the Senate voted 57-42 to confirm Gottlieb in May.

The new commissioner came with both FDA expertise (he previously held a variety of roles in the agency in President George W. Bush’s administration) and a vocally open attitude toward tobacco harm reduction. 

“If the industry was earnest about … new products that would still satisfy peoples’ taste for nicotine (with hopefully much lower risks), there could be [a] public health virtue.”
—Dr. Scott Gottlieb, Forbes Magazine, March 8, 2013