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FDA establishes tobacco control center

Silver Spring, Md.—The Food and Drug Administration moved quickly to assert new tobacco control authority, inviting public and professional advice and establishing a Center for Tobacco Products.

ADA staff is preparing a response to the invitation for advice on implementing the Association-supported Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which the president signed into law in June. Dr. Kathleen O'Loughlin, ADA executive director, was among invited guests for the bill-signing ceremony in the White House Rose Garden (ADA News Today June 22, FDA granted authority to regulate tobacco).

The new FDA Center for Tobacco Products "will use the best available science to guide the development and implementation of effective public health strategies to reduce the burden of illness and death caused by tobacco products."

The FDA said Lawrence Deyton, a physician and expert on veterans' health issues, will serve as the center's first director. He was chief public health and environmental hazards officer for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Dr. Deyton, a clinical professor of medicine and health policy at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, was a founder of the Whitman Walker Clinic, a community-based AIDS organization in Washington, D.C., offering medical, dental and other services.