Gottlieb, meanwhile, came out of the gate swinging. Less than three months after his Senate confirmation, Gottlieb issued an extended document outlining a number of ways in which the FDA would change its approach to regulating the category.

Included in that document were:
—Plans to issue an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on lowering the levels of nicotine in cigarettes.
—An extension to the deeming application deadlines, granting combustible products until 2021 and noncombustible products until 2022 to submit PMTAs.
—Plans to issue an ANPRM on the role flavors (including menthol) play in attracting underage consumers, as well as encouraging adult smokers to quit.

The announcement was widely celebrated by the tobacco and convenience industry as a strong indication that the FDA would embrace harm reduction and make it easier for potentially lower-risk products such as e-cigarettes to innovate moving forward.