Earlier today the United States Senate confirmed Dr. Scott Gottlieb as the next Commissioner of the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). IPCPR applauds the Senate’s decision to put thoughtful and experienced leadership at the head of an organization as critical as the FDA. Dr. Gottlieb’s confirmation puts a reform minded physician with experience in both the public and private sectors in charge of a regulatory body that has too often failed in its mission to protect the public health without needlessly hampering commerce in this country. The small business retailers and professional tobacconists that make up IPCPR are counting on the leadership of Dr. Gottlieb and the actions of his FDA to address and correct the onerous and catastrophic elements of last year’s Deeming Rule.
According to IPCPR CEO Mark Pursell, Dr. Gottlieb’s confirmation gives hope to premium tobacco retailers. “During his confirmation process, Dr. Gottlieb repeatedly stressed that he will rely on science and common sense, not ideology, to guide his time as commissioner. His past statements on then-proposed regulations for our industry further highlight the new viewpoint he will bring to the FDA. As an industry that knows there is no sound scientific argument to support the new requirements placed on traditional and premium cigars, Dr. Gottlieb’s sober attitude toward regulation combined with his vast public health experience is refreshing.”
IPCPR looks forward to working with Commissioner Gottlieb in his new role. Despite the recent 90 day delay of outstanding compliance deadlines – retailers around the country continue to face the dire threat of Deeming Rule regulations. Put simply, time is of the essence. IPCPR will continue to represent the needs and interests of our retail tobacconists, and work to protect the thousands of jobs at risk across the country.