FDA head Scott Gottlieb, a vaping opponent, stepping down after 2 years


(JTA) — FDA chief Dr. Scott Gottlieb, who has tried to curb the surge in underage vaping, is stepping down after two years.

Gottlieb, who is Jewish, told his staff on Tuesday that he will leave his post next month, citing “the challenge of being apart from my family.” He commutes weekly from Connecticut to Washington, D.C. Gottlieb, 46, a cancer survivor, is the father of three daughters – twins, 9, and a 5-year-old.

Under Gottlieb, the Food and Drug Administration has taken up issues such as the opioid crisis, rising drug prices and teenage vaping.

His centerpiece issue was a plan to restrict the sale of flavored e-cigarettes and the vaping surge that he has said could lead to a new generation addicted to nicotine, according to The Washington Post. The plan has been criticized as too aggressive by the e-cigarette industry and too weak by anti-tobacco activists.

Gottlieb also has proposed initiatives to ban menthol cigarettes and reduce nicotine levels in cigarettes to “minimally addictive” levels, according to the Post. It is not known what will happen to them with his departure.

President Donald Trump tweeted that Gottlieb “has done an absolutely terrific job,” adding “he and his talents will be greatly missed.”

Recommended from JTA