Just days after calling for a public-comment period on nicotine levels in cigarettes, the FDA issued the ANPRM on flavored tobacco products—including menthol—and called upon all stakeholders to share data, research and information surrounding the role flavors play “in initiation, use and cessation of tobacco products.”
In a statement released March 20, Gottlieb said that flavors in tobacco products and vaping devices can help initiate youth to the use of nicotine, but at the same time, he recognized that flavors can help adult smokers switch to alternatives such as vaping.
He said while there is “no acceptable number of kids using tobacco,” he has spoken to vaping adults who have since quit smoking.
“Now I know anecdotes aren’t the same as data. And the ANPRM specifically seeks data on this issue,” Gottlieb said in the statement. “But these personal stories are important to me as we shape our overall approach to smoking cessation. And it’s important to me that we uphold the FDA’s responsibility to consider all sides and take into account, among other things, the risks and benefits to the population as a whole.”