No vacancy at the head of the FDA: Norman Shapeless come in succession of Scott Gottlieb, on 5 April, as acting commissioner.
Even if it is not yet known how the Acting Commissioner will approach vaping regulation, from some of his general statements on a CBS podcast about e-cigs, dating back to autumn 2018, it is possible to figure a very cautious approach: “That’s very beneficial in terms of reducing risk for cancer and other diseases, but at the same time we don’t really know the impact of these new devices and their risks from a cancer point of view, or also the risks of significant nicotine addiction and other kinds of behavior. E-cigarettes: are they terrible or good or in-between? We need more research, and it’s a very big deal from a public health point of view.”
Alex Azar, secretary of Health and Human Services, announcing on March 7 the designation of Sharpless as FDA acting commissioner, stated that “There will be no let up in the agency’s focus, from ongoing efforts on drug approvals and combating the opioid crisis to modernizing food safety and addressing the rapid rise in youth use of e-cigarettes.”
Sharpless will probabily be a temporary commissioner; the permanent one has to be nominated by President Trump and confirmed by Senate.