Tobacco shares jumped on Tuesday when information broke that Scott Gottlieb, head of the Food and Drug Administration, would resign on the finish of the month.
Gottlieb, a physician and former enterprise capitalist, got here into the Trump administration in 2017, with strong ties to the industries he was imagined to steer and a historical past of writing anti-regulatory screeds in conservative journals. Critics puzzled if he was proper for the job.
However the 46-yr-outdated most cancers survivor shortly proved himself to be an outspoken advocate of public well being, making tobacco and teenage vaping his signature points throughout his 23-month run. “He embraced science and embraced the objectives of the company,” mentioned Peter Lurie, the president of the Center for Science in the Public Interest. “That may’t be mentioned for most of the different [Trump] appointees.”
Gottlieb railed towards smoking because the main explanation for preventable dying within the US, and proposed progressive coverage options to scale back the well being harms of tobacco (resembling nicotine limits and a menthol ban). As new data emerged that confirmed America was within the midst of a teen vaping epidemic, fueled partly by the vape machine Juul, he went after the corporate and proposed methods to curb the issue by means of his Youth Tobacco Prevention Plan.
These efforts are an enormous a part of why his resignation has been met with disappointment and concern from the medical and public well being communities.