SILVER SPRING, Md. — A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention veteran will head up the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Tobacco Products.
Brian King will start as CTP director on July 3, according to a staff letter from FDA Commissioner Robert Califf. Mitch Zeller retired from the position in April and Michele Mital has been CTP’s acting director since.
King has worked at the Atlanta-based CDC for 10 years in varying roles, Califf said in the letter, with a primary focus and expertise on tobacco prevention and control. Since early in the COVID-19 pandemic, King has worked on the CDC’s emergency responses in various leadership capacities including chief science officer.
Before that, he worked in several capacities in the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health (OSH) since 2010. OSH is the lead federal entity for comprehensive tobacco prevention and control, working to develop, conduct and support strategic efforts to protect the public’s health from the harmful effects of tobacco use, Califf said.
“There’s critical work to be done to further prevent people from starting to use tobacco products, encourage tobacco users to quit and reduce the harm caused by tobacco use,” King said in a statement to CSP. “During my time at CDC, I’ve had the great privilege to work with the staff at the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products on a number of important tobacco issues, and I’m excited to lead CTP to advance these efforts.”
King brings extensive and specialized knowledge and experience in tobacco regulatory policy to the FDA, Califf said, adding that King understands the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, premarket tobacco product application (PMTA) process, modified risk tobacco products and more.
King received his Ph.D. in epidemiology and an M.P.H. in epidemiology from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo.
“I look forward to Dr. King joining the FDA team and helping to lead CTP to the next level in effective and smart tobacco product regulation,” Califf said in a May 20 Tweet. “We have a lot to do!”
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