The government shutdown could delay a Food and Drug Administration ruling that is expected to curb TV advertisements of e-cigarettes.
The FDA had announced its plan to issue a decision in October on whether and how to regulate the booming e-cig industry. And an FDA spokesman said staff at the agency’s Center for Tobacco Products remain at their posts because it is funded by tobacco industry fees and not subject to annual budget appropriations. But the shutdown, now in its seventh day, has furloughed 45% of the agency’s employees, including some working on tobacco issues in the office of FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, the spokesman said.
A virtual seminar on tobacco regulation has already been postponed until funding is restored, according to the FDA website.