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March 05, 2019

Vaping scourge Scott Gottlieb resigns as FDA commissioner, report says

Gottlieb wants to spend more time with his family, report indicates

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FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb Jasper Colt/USA Today

Aug 15, 2017; McLean, VA, USA; FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb speaks to members of the USA TODAY Editorial Board. Mandatory Credit: Jasper Colt-USA TODAY

U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb is stepping down, according to The Washington Post.

Gottlieb resigned from his post on Tuesday in order to spend more time with his family in Westport, Connecticut, an administration official told the newspaper. It will take effect in about one month.

Gottlieb, 46, took a strong stance against teen vaping, which has driven increases in youth tobacco usage. About 4.9 million American youth used tobacco last year, including 27.1 percent of high school students.

In November, the FDA limited e-cigarette sales to brick-and-mortar stores that do not permit access to people under 18, effectively banning convenience stores and gas stations from selling e-cigarettes, including the popular Juul brand. It also increased age-verification requirements for online purchases.

But Gottlieb threatened even more stringent action if those measures fail to curb youth tobacco use. During a public hearing in Maryland last month, he said the e-cigarette companies face an "existential threat" if they continue marketing their products to youth.

The FDA also has moved to ban menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars, due to their appeal to teenagers, and reduce nicotine levels in cigarettes to minimally addictive levels.

Gottlieb, who took office in May 2017, had some policy disagreements with the White House, but President Donald Trump did not want him to leave, according to the Post.

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