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The harmful impact of further delays in the FDA’s e-cigarette review

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The Food and Drug Administration announced this week that, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, it would seek a 120-day extension of its May 12 deadline for e-cigarette manufacturers to apply to keep their products on the market. In a joint statement, Truth Initiative joined partners to express our deep concern about the harmful impact of further delays in the FDA’s review. As plaintiffs in the lawsuit that resulted in the May 12 deadline, our organizations maintain that any extension should be brief, and tobacco companies cannot be allowed to use this public health emergency to continue avoiding their legal obligation to submit their products for FDA review.

“While we understand the FDA's position in requesting the court to extend the deadline for e-cigarette manufacturers to submit their product reviews because of the coronavirus pandemic, the urgency of the situation has become even greater,” said Robin Koval, CEO and President of Truth Initiative. “Youth and young adults continue to use e-cigarettes at epidemic levels. And, as the FDA stated last week, people with underlying health issues, such as heart and lung problems may have increased risk for serious complications from COVID-19 including those who smoke and/or vape tobacco or nicotine-containing products. Now is not the time to leave these products on the market with zero review of their health impact. Tobacco companies cannot be allowed to use this public health emergency to continue avoiding their legal obligation and put profits before public health.”

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