WASHINGTON —The Food and Drug Administration appointed a group of scientists and health professionals to its Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee Monday.
It will advise the FDA on a range of tobacco-related issues as it exercises its new regulatory authority over the tobacco industry.
First on the agenda is the impact of menthol cigarettes on the public’s health. After the committee convenes later this month it will prepare a report for Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
The group has 12 members, nine voting and three non-voting. Of the nine voting members, seven are health professionals representing a wide variety of relevant disciplines, according to the FDA. They are Neal Benowitz, Mark Stuart Clanton, Gregory Niles Connolly, Dorothy Hatsukami, Jack Henningfield, Jonathan Samet and Melanie Wakefield. The other two voting members include a representative from state government, Karen DeLeeuw, and a representative of the general public, Patricia Nez Henderson.
Selection of the three non-voting members representing industry interests is ongoing. Ultimately, this will include one member from the tobacco manufacturing industry, one representing tobacco growers and one representative from the small business manufacturing industry.
“FDA will be faced with many challenging tobacco-related public health, science and regulatory issues as we move forward with implementation of the Tobacco Control Act,” said Lawrence Deyton, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, in a statement. “The breadth of knowledge amassed by this highly qualified group will supplement and enhance the agency’s understanding of tobacco control, prevention and health promotion issues.”
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