Tobacco-Free Kids Applauds Dr.… | Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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Tobacco-Free Kids Applauds Dr. Lawrence Deyton for Leading FDA's Center for Tobacco Products

Statement of Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
February 21, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC (February 21, 2013) – The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids applauds and thanks Dr. Lawrence Deyton for his critical leadership in establishing the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Tobacco Products and implementing key provisions of the landmark 2009 law giving the FDA authority over tobacco products.

Under Dr. Deyton's leadership, the FDA has taken long-overdue steps to prevent tobacco companies from marketing to kids and deceiving the American people. Among other things, the FDA has restricted tobacco marketing, especially to children; ended the sale of candy and fruit-flavored cigarettes that served as starter products for kids; cracked down on illegal tobacco sales to kids; banned misleading health claims about cigarettes such as 'light' and 'low-tar;' and developed bold new cigarette warnings that are currently being challenged by tobacco companies. These are strong actions that are helping to reduce tobacco use and save lives in the United States.

Throughout his tenure at the FDA, Dr. Deyton has shown that he is an experienced public health leader with a deep commitment to reducing tobacco use, the number one cause of preventable death in the U.S. We thank him for his leadership and service as he leaves the Center for Tobacco Products.

The Campaign also applauds the appointment of Mitch Zeller as the new director of the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products. Mr. Zeller is well qualified to build on the progress that has been made. During the 1990s, he was the founding director of the FDA's Office of Tobacco Programs, overseeing the agency's original assertion of jurisdiction over tobacco products. Since then, he has continued his leadership in the fight against tobacco use in the U.S. and around the world. Mr. Zeller is deeply familiar with the harmful practices of the tobacco industry and the need for the FDA to act aggressively to curtail those practices in order to reduce the death and disease caused by tobacco use. Mr. Zeller's experience, knowledge and commitment will allow him to move quickly to ensure the promise of the 2009 law is fully realized.