• June 12, 2024

FDA Nominee Vows to Close Synthetic Nicotine Loophole

 FDA Nominee Vows to Close Synthetic Nicotine Loophole

Robert Califf (Photo: FDA)

Robert Califf

Robert Califf vowed to close the synthetic nicotine loophole if appointed commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, according to a report by Vaping360.

During Califf’s nomination hearing on Dec. 14, Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin expressed concern over reports that companies are switching to making flavored synthetic nicotine products in the wake of FDA marketing denial orders.

“As FDA commissioner, how would you work to address the rise in youth use of synthetic nicotine, and will you commit to working with Congress to ensure that the FDA has the authorities and resources it needs to crack down on these products?” Baldwin asked.

In response, Califf first noted that is crucial to appoint the right person to succeed Center for Products Director Mitch Zeller, who plans to retire in April 2022.

“Secondly,” Califf continued, “this is not limited to children. I may have some family members using synthetic nicotine, I learned as I was going through the paces here. And what people don’t realize is that there are two enantiomers of nicotine—one of which is not occurring in nature—that are in this product, and its properties are not known.

“So we’ve got to close this loophole,” Califf added, “so that we make sure that we understand the risks and benefits, and particularly deal with the issues in children.”

The Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee will vote soon on whether to recommend Califf’s nomination to the full Senate. If the committee approves him, the former commissioner can expect full Senate confirmation to be the new commissioner soon, probably in January.