Alec Stone
Alec Stone MA, MPA, ONS Public Affairs Director

In May 2017, Scott Gottlieb, MD, was named as the newest U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner. He’s since shown a commitment to regulating tobacco and nicotine delivery systems—such as e-cigarettes—especially when it comes to children. In one of his public forums, Gottlieb spoke about the FDA’s commitment to continued oversight and regulation of these products and their distribution, a stance that’s drawn support from the medical community.

Gottlieb noted the tremendous public health advancements from the FDA: from vaccines to seat belts and life-saving medical devices. It was through this lens, that he encouraged the need for increased public safety and health initiatives that focus on tobacco and smoking.

“We have a similar opportunity in front of us right now to take a historically important step toward protecting public health from the number-one cause of preventable disease and death in this country: tobacco use,” Gottlieb said.  

This is a continued leadership role that the agency has taken over the past two decades, forming a committee to expand the FDA’s jurisdiction over tobacco and its use, marketing, and distribution. Moreover, the FDA has launched a new public awareness campaign, The Real Cost, to address teen cigarette use, including e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems.

Oncology nurses know the dangers and damage that tobacco use has on patients. ONS will continue to champion smoking cessation tactics and work to educate lawmakers and federal agencies about the dangers of tobacco use.