Improving Tobacco Regulations: Recommendations for FDA’s CTP – Part 3
The Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) is a division of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that oversees the regulation of tobacco products in the country. Following a request by FDA Commissioner, Dr. Robert Califf, a panel from the Reagan-Udall Foundation conducted a review of CTP's regulatory processes and agency operations, offering fifteen recommendations for improvements across several areas. These areas include cross-cutting issues, science and application review, regulation and guidance, compliance and enforcement, public education campaigns, and resources.
We’ve already covered cross-cutting and science and application review in Part 1 of this article, click here to read it if you haven’t already. In Part 2 we covered regulation and guidance and compliance and enforcement, click here to check it out. In this article we will cover public education campaigns and resources.
Public Education Campaigns
The public education campaigns recommendations aim to increase public awareness of the risks associated with tobacco use and to promote healthier choices.
The first recommendation calls for CTP to solicit broad public input on its public education campaigns. To achieve this, CTP will develop a plan to promote and publish resources that describe the methods it currently uses to solicit and consider public input, such as consultations with stakeholders and formative research with campaign audiences. Additionally, CTP will leverage opportunities to solicit public input during upcoming public meetings related to CTP's campaign and public education strategy.
The second action involves exploring a collaboration with an external entity known for scientific rigor and objectivity to develop and test a credible and comprehensive process for soliciting and considering public input on CTP's campaign program. Within three months, the feasibility of this approach will be determined. Overall, these recommendations aim to enhance public education campaigns, which are critical to the public health mission, by seeking input from a wide range of stakeholders.
The resources related recommendations aim to improve the FDA's ability to effectively regulate the tobacco industry by addressing personnel and financial issues.
To this end, FDA should secure hiring authorities and salary flexibility to recruit, hire, and retain personnel with the necessary skills. FDA should also work with the Office of Personnel Management to develop solutions to facilitate hiring professionals that match the tobacco program's needs.
FDA should continue to pursue securing user fees from each sector regulated by the center, including electronic nicotine delivery systems. To achieve this, FDA will work with Congress to modernize the tobacco user fee framework and increase user fees assessed and collected.
CTP has also worked to educate relevant stakeholders, including Congress, about the benefits of securing additional user fees for all regulated tobacco products to support regulatory priorities, including compliance and enforcement efforts, hiring more staff, and expanding public education campaigns.
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