I received this from Congressman Hal Rogers (R) KY today in my email. It is encouraging. Time will tell.
Dear Mr. B
Thank you for contacting me to express your concerns about actions taken by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) related to the e-cigarette industry. I appreciate the opportunity to respond.
As you know, tobacco is already one of the most heavily regulated consumer products in the marketplace. In fact, over a dozen federal agencies exert regulatory authority over tobacco products and e-cigarettes, from import and export controls to cultivation practices. Recently, the FDA finalized a regulation to subject virtually all e-cigarettes and vaping products on the market to more stringent standards than the tobacco products they so often replace. This approach creates a regulatory logjam for the agency, diverting FDA’s attention from its core mission to promote public health, ensure the safe use of these product and prevent underage use and abuse, and would hurt small businesses across the country. While I support regulation of these products, I believe FDA should not create unnecessarily high barriers to unquestionably less-dangerous tobacco alternatives.
You may be pleased to know that, as Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, I supported an amendment to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Agriculture Appropriations Bill on this very subject when it passed in committee on April 19, 2016. As the lone source of funding for the Department of Agriculture, this legislation allocates resources for the FDA. The amendment prohibits the use of any funds for FDA’s unprecedented regulation, allows responsible adults access to this alternative to tobacco, and instructs the FDA to establish more appropriate and less restrictive guidelines. I look forward to supporting this bill when it comes to the House floor for a vote.
Again, thank you for contacting me on this issue. If you would like to learn more about how I am working for you during the 114th Congress, please visit www.halrogers.house.gov and sign up for my e-newsletter. It is an honor to serve you in the United States House of Representatives.
Member of Congress