The new head of FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, Mitchell Zeller, started work this week.
Zeller (who is a trained lawyer) has a long record in tobacco control, having led FDA’s failed effort in the mid-1990s to regulate tobacco products. The U.S. Supreme Court rejected that effort, finding that FDA lacked congressional authority to regulate tobacco products. Now that FDA has been given congressional authority, Zeller takes over as head of those efforts, assuming the position held by Dr. Lawrence Deyton since the inception of FDA’s tobacco authority.
Between his stints at FDA, Zeller worked with the American Legacy Foundation, which was created in the aftermath of the Master Settlement Agreement and is known for the “Truth” television advertisements designed to curb tobacco use. Zeller then worked for a pharmaceutical consulting firm, which represents clients that sell nicotine replacement products.