July 16, 2019 – Prodding the FDA


Anchor lead: Will San Francisco’s ban on e-cigarettes get the FDA to step up? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Tobacco products fall under the purview of the FDA, but the agency has been slow to act in regulating them, including e-cigarettes. Now that San Francisco has outlawed the devices, Michael Blaha, a preventive cardiologist at Johns Hopkins, says the agency may be spurred to action.

Blaha: One interesting thing about this approach that San Francisco has taken is they said they’re going to ban electronic cigarette sales for only those products that haven’t been approved by premarket approval by the FDA. The catch is no products have been approved by the FDA to date, so this effectively bans the sales of all electronic cigarette products. This is a nudge to the FDA that they have to move faster to create a regulatory framework for electronic cigarettes, so we can really know which products might create a health benefit and which ones  are clearly harmful.  :32

Blaha says regulation by the FDA is important in imposing constraints where they are needed. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.