Thirty of the top public health and medical groups in the United States recently urged President Barack Obama to issue an overdue final rule concerning the regulation of tobacco products, including cigars and electronic cigarettes.
Each delay in passing this final rule places more children at risk for health problems. To resolve this, the groups wrote a letter to Obama, but he has not yet responded.
If approved, the rule would give authority to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to oversee U.S. tobacco products. The FDA first stated that it would take this responsibility approximately two years ago, which is when the organization made a proposed rule. It has been approximately six months since the agency sent the proposal to the White House Office of Management and Budget to request a final rule for review. This is in defiance of the executive order that requires the review not to take more than 90 days.
In April last year, the Obama administration said that the final rule would be finished by the end of the summer in 2015; however, clearly, this still has not happened.
“Every one of these delays comes with a cost to public health,” officials said in the letter. “We ask for your leadership in ensuring prompt administration action to finalize this regulation in the interest of public health and especially for the protection of our children.”