Recently, Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Montana) proposed an amendment to the 2012 agriculture appropriations bill that would, among other things, curb FDA’s authority to regulate tobacco products by limiting the factors FDA can consider in regulating these products. Specifically, the amendment would prohibit FDA from banning an ingredient based on the substance’s tendency to attract smokers or make cigarettes more addictive to minorities and children. Instead, the amendment would allow FDA only to ban or limit an ingredient that makes cigarettes physically more harmful than existing products. This amendment would have an immediate impact on FDA’s current contemplation of whether to ban the use of menthol in cigarettes. Menthol has not been proven to make cigarettes physically more harmful than existing products and, therefore, under Rehberg’s amendment, FDA could not ban menthol.
For questions and/or comments, please contact Bryan Haynes, at 804.697.1420 or by email.