WASHINGTON, DC—Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley, top Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee overseeing the FDA, and Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT), member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), today met with Mitch Zeller, the FDA’s director of the Center for Tobacco Products to discuss the youth vaping crisis. Merkley and Romney are leading bipartisan legislation in the Senate that permanently bans flavors of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), ensures vaping cartridges are tamper-proof, and funds a robust public education campaign by applying the existing tobacco excise tax to e-cigarettes.
“The FDA’s recently issued January Guidance on vaping falls short of protecting youth and the public health,” the senators said. “As a follow up to our recent letter to Mr. Zeller outlining these shortcomings, we sat down with him today to further discuss our concerns. We urged the agency to reconsider the January Guidance and apply the temporary flavor ban to all types of ENDS products, such as disposable e-cigarettes and small open-tank systems, which are known to entice youth and keep them addicted. We will continue to press FDA to prioritize the health and safety of our nation’s youth.”
- This month, Senators Merkley, Romney and colleagues expressed concerns regarding the FDA’s recently issued January Guidance on vaping in a letter to the director of the Center for Tobacco Products, Mitch Zeller.
- In September, Senators Merkley and Romney introduced the Ending New Nicotine Dependencies (ENND) Act, which would regulate e-cigarette standards and protect public health by prohibiting non-tobacco flavors and ensuring that electronic nicotine delivery systems are tamper-proof.